A soil with a pH of less than 7.0. For practical purposes this typically relates to a soil with a pH of less than 6.5.
The penetration of the soil profile, resulting in soil air being replaced by air from the atmosphere. This helps to improve drainage and encourages deeper rooting of grasses.
A defined soil moisture deficit. For turfgrasses a SMD (Soil Moisture Deficit) figure of 50 - 75% may be considered as a drought situation - this will depend upon several factors, including the management objectives for the area, the desired turfgrass species, soil type etc.
A specialist dealing with the interactions of the soil (or rootzone) and its associated crop, e.g. turfgrass. A turfgrass agronomist advises on effective ways of constructing, developing and managing turfgrass areas.
The genus name for Bentgrasses. The main turfgrasses of this genus are A. capillaris (Browntop Bent), A. castellana ('Highland' Browntop Bent), A. canina ssp canina (Velvet Bent) and A. stolonifera (Creeping Bent), all of which are mostly used on fine turf areas.
The amount of pore spaces within a soil that are filled with air.
Dark green slime (also called squidge) which can be present on poorly drained turf areas.
A soil with a pH of greater than 7.0. For practical purposes this typically relates to a soil with a pH greater than 7.5
A term used to describe different types of artificial, non-grass surfaces. They are not actually "all weather", as a frozen, snow covered surface would not be played on, particularly from a health and safety perspective.
To dilute, or alter, the composition of one material with another; in particular a soil being ameliorated with sand.
The breakdown of complex organic molecules within dead and decaying organic matter to ammonium, which is the start of the nitrification process.
Inadequate amount of oxygen within the soil.
1. A detailed examination of the findings of an assessment.
2. A statement of the findings of an assessment, soil test, observation, or similar event.
The structure of a plant, looking at the internal features, particularly the cells and their assemblage into tissues.
Phylum of the animal kingdom to which the earthworms belong.
A plant that completes its life cycle within one year.
Annual Meadow Grass
see Poa annua.
Colletotrichum graminicola. A fairly common disease of annual meadow grass in compacted fine turf areas.
Acronym for Association of Play Industries.
A person, typically a novice, who is learning a trade, normally in a formal working environment, and who will become a skilled worker upon successful completion of the apprenticeship.
Adams and Stewart Soil Binding test. Also known as a mottie test. This is carried out in a laboratory situation to determine the strength of clay loams. This test is particularly useful for determining the suitability of a soil for cricket pitches and tennis courts.
1. Estimating the composition of something. For example the size and amount of different species within a turf area. By carrying out an appropriate number of assessments on an area, e.g. a cricket square, a groundsman / turf manager will be able to analyse the results to enable informed decisions to be made for maintaining the area to a good standard: Assessments are an important part of the Performance Quality Standards framework.
2. Providing a judgement of something. For example, (i) a portfolio presented by a student to an assessor; (ii) a health and safety risk assessment.
Acronym for American Society of Testing and Materials.
The smallest part of an element that can take place in a chemical reaction.
An atom consists of a nucleus (containing a positively charged proton and (except in the case of Hydrogen) a neutral charge neutron, surrounded by one or more negatively charged electrons.
The number of protons in the nucleus, for example, Nitrogen = 7, Potassium = 19.
Small claw like feature which is present where the blade joins the sheath in some grasses, e.g. perennial ryegrass.
Available Water Capacity
Water that is held on the outer coating of soil particles and is freely available to the plant. It is the water which is retained in a soil between its field capacity and permanent wilting point.
Within the Performance Quality Standard framework, this is where a surface is designed within tight financial limitations and is for use at recreational level.
Reference or measurement standard used for comparison.
The continuous activity of identifying, understanding and adapting best practice and processes that will lead to superior performance.
Usually a term for the Bentgrasses, however, it is also applied to the flowering stem of perennial ryegrass, especially during the middle to end of summer when leaf growth has slowed due to a reduced water supply and the plant attempts to set seed.
This is about making arrangements to secure continuous improvement in the way in which an organisations functions are exercised, having regard to a combination of economy, efficiency and effectiveness.
A plant that completes its life cycle in two years. vegetative growth is achieved in the first year, with flowering and seeding in the second year.
Acronym for British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association.
The main part of a grass leaf, also called lamina.
This is the name given to a layer formed in the soil profile under wet and anaerobic conditions. The formation of the black colour is due to the production of iron sulphide.
1. Turfgrass Seed: Two or more cultivars of the same species that are contained within the same bag of seed. For example, a bag of 100% perennial ryegrass, may consist of a blend of 30% of cultivar 'a'; 30% of cultivar 'b' and 40% of cultivar 'c'.
2. Fertiliser: the dry mixing of two or more fertilisers.
The science of plants and plant life itself.
Rhizoctonia solani. A turfgrass disease that may be increasing within the British Isles due to changing climate patterns.
Acronym for British Rootzone and Top Dressing Manufacturers Association.
This is mainly used to remove dew from the grass or to help work top-dressing into the sward.
Acronym for British Standard.
Acronym for British Standards Institution.
Acronym for British Society of Plant Breeders Ltd.
Acronym for British Turf and Landscape Irrigation Association.
Bulk density is defined as the dry mass of soil per unit volume: it is how much a certain volume of soil weighs, including the pore spaces within the soil. The standard measurement is grams per cubic centimetre, or g cm-3.
Bunkers are sand pits or traps, but can be grass hollows, which are situated in various positions throughout a golf course. Their aim is to punish a poorly hit shot from the golfer.
By-pass Drainage System
This is an installed drainage system which transmits water away from the surface and through the existing soil profile by means of a range of sand-slits and sand-bands, which typically connect to a piped drainage system..
Symbol Ca. Soils usually contain adequate amounts of calcium. It can also form part of other fertiliser components, e.g. superphosphate supplies phosphorus, but also includes calcium.
The amount of water filled pores within the soil, where the water is available for use by the plant.
An organic, carbon, molecule with the building block (CH2O)n. There are different types of carbohydrate, e.g. sugar, cellulose etc.
The level of recreation use an area can sustain without an unacceptable degree of deterioration of the character and quality of the resource or of the recreation experience. (Same as Sustainable Usage Level).
Acronym for the Central Council of Physical Recreation.
Acronym for the Compulsory Competitive Tendering .
Acronym for Comité Européen de Normalisation (The European Committee for Standardisation). CEN aims to promote voluntary technical harmonisation in Europe. This will help to diminish trade barriers, promote safety and common technical understanding.
Small white grubs with noticeable sets of front legs, which eat grass roots.
The name of the IOG's Strategic Plan 2006 - 2012.
A thin tine, with a narrow blade which is broader at the end that penetrates the turf.
A taxonomic grouping of similar orders.
The grouping together of similarly related organisms.
Particles with a diameter of less than 0.002mm. They are plate like in shape.
This combines the knowledge, skills and understanding to be able to perform a task or job effectively to defined (national) standards and over a period of time.
A fertiliser which includes two or more main nutrients and results from a chemical process which combines the nutrients: It is only produced commercially.
Cool Season Turfgrass
Species of turfgrass that, typically, have optimum growing temperatures of between 60 and 75°F. Common species include Agrostis, Festuca, Lolium and Poa, all of which are common to turfgrass areas within the British Isles.
The former name for Red Thread.
A modern term for a person who manages the whole of the outdoor environment of a golf course or golf complex. This person will also deal with staffing issues, including staff training, budgetary control, the writing and delivery of management plans and be responsible for ensuring compliance with health and safety regulations. Compare 'Head Greenkeeper'.
A cultivated variety which has a characteristic that is slightly different from other cultivars of the same species. When cultivars reproduce, they retain their particular characteristic.
If conditions are unsuitable for the oxidation of nitrite to nitrate, or if such conditions arise after nitrate has been produced, then denitrifying bacteria act on the nitrite or nitrate resulting in the loss of nitrogen (N2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) gas back to the atmosphere.
Surface moisture on grass leaves. This is usually caused by atmospheric moisture condensing onto leaves and/or by guttation.
Diseases of turf grasses
see Anthracnose, Black layer, Brown Patch, Dollar spot, Fairy rings, Fusarium patch, Leaf spot, Red thread, Take-all patch.
The second highest hierarchical grouping within the plant and fungus kingdoms. This term is still used in preference to that of Phylum.
A piece of turf that has come detached from the sward through the action of a golf club, football boot etc.
Sclerotinia homoeocarpa. A small patch disease (with 'circles' being less than 25mm diameter) of slender creeping red fescue.
A bristle drag (with bristles typically being 75-100mm in length) which is about 2 m wide and is used for removing dew and worm casts and also for brushing grass upright prior to mowing.
The natural or artificial removal of surface and subsurface water.
There are different types of drought, two of which are of particular interest to a turf manager: 1. Agricultural drought and 2. Meteorological drought.
Members of the Annelida phylum. Whilst they are beneficial in improving soil aeration and the breakdown of organic matter, some species produce surface casts which have a detrimental effect on playing quality. They can also seal sand slits, thereby reducing the effectiveness of expensive drainage systems.
Abbreviation for the England and Wales Cricket Board.
Either the trimming of the perimeter of a grassed area by hand edging shears or the forming of a newly cut edge by the use of a half-moon edging iron.
A plant that completes its life cycle in a short period of time. Several life cycles may be achieved in one year.
The area between the tee and green on a golf course.
There are 3 types of fairy rings, each affecting turf in different ways:
Type 1: The most serious, which kills the affected turf and contaminates the soil. Mostly caused by Marasmius oreades.
Type 2: This produces green rings and occasional mushrooms and other fruiting bodies. It only really has a cosmetic effect on the turf which can be addressed by fertilising the sward or applying a turf tonic, depending upon the time of year.
Type3: This produces fruiting bodies only and has a negligible effect on turf. All that is required is the picking of the fruiting bodies.
In plant taxonomy, a group of similar genera.
The application of essential plant nutrients to a grassed area. Typical application rates range from 17 - 50 g/m2.
This provides one or more essential plant nutrients to aid growth and health and can be applied to the turf surface or rootzone. The main fertiliser nutrients applied to turf are Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium, followed by Iron and occasionally Magnesium.
The genus name for the fescue grasses. The main turfgrasses of this genus are: F. rubra ssp commutata; syn. F.nigrescens (Chewing's fescue), F. rubra subspecies (ssp) litoralis or ssp pruinosa (Slender creeping red fescue), F. rubra ssp rubra (Strong creeping red fescue) and F. longifolia (Hard fescue), all of which are mostly used on fine turf areas.
Following drainage in a soil, which is typically 1 - 3 days after rainfall, this is the amount of water that remains in the soil profile and is the commencing point for the available water capacity. It is the maximum amount of water that a soil can retain against the force of gravity.
scientific name = Michrodochium nivale. The most destructive disease of fine turf areas, especially those dominated with annual meadow grass.
A group of species with similar characteristics. Similar genera are grouped into a Family.
No hairs being present.
There is something in the order of 9000 species worldwide. Only a handful are used in turfgrass situations in the UK: Bentgrass species, Fescue species, Perennial ryegrass and Smooth stalked meadow grass being the main ones.
A very fine area of mown grass, e.g. golf or bowling green, croquet lawn.
This is the light combing of the surface of a fine turf area.
Water droplets formed by exudation from the leaf, particularly under conditions of relatively high humidity.
Within the Performance Quality Standard framework, this is where the surface is designed for professional and international use.
(Yorkshire fog). A weed grass found in fine turf areas. It is very hard to control by means other than cutting out and removal.
A hollow cylindrical spike with one part of the spike cut away to allow for the removal of soil cores from the tine during the hollow-tining operation.
A plant which is the result of breeding between two different species or cultivars.
The rate of water flow through the soil.
Acronym for the Institute of Groundsmanship.
Symbol Fe. This is only included in small amounts in turf fertilisers, usually as sulphate of iron. It helps to green up the grass without producing a flush of growth, as usually occurs following an application of nitrogen.
The application of water to a grassed area. Small areas can be irrigated by using a hose pipe and attachment. Larger areas, especially high quality sports turf ones, will have fixed automatic pop-up sprinklers.
The International Organization for Standardization which is made up of national standards institutions from around the world.ISO is not an abbreviation, it is a word that is derived from the Greek isos, meaning 'equal'. The short form of the organisations name in any language is always ISO.
This is used to describe turf which has recently been laid and with the joins between the turves having been top-dressed to encourage a rapid production of a uniform sward surface, without visible joins being present.
Rainfall and irrigation water washes out soluble elements from the soil solution. Leached elements end up in streams, rivers and aquifers.
Generic term for the sum of the grass blade, ligule and auricle (where present).
scientific name = Drechslera spp. Also called Melting out. Minor diseases of some turf grasses; the main ones being on perennial ryegrass and smooth stalked meadow grass.
The small grub of the Daddy long legs. They cause severe damage to turf areas over the autumn to spring period when they are feeding on grass roots. The effects are particularly noticeable during dry spring weather when the turf starts to die off due to an inadequate root mass, which cannot provide adequate water and nutrients to the plant.
Small, usually whitish, growth at the junction of the leaf and sheath. Some grasses have a small fringe of hairs instead of the whitish feature.
The main formulation used for turf situations is chalk, i.e. calcium carbonate. It is used to raise soil acidity, but has to be applied with caution as it encourages weeds, coarse grasses, earthworms and disease incidence.
(Perennial ryegrass). The main turfgrass of general amenity, hard wearing areas, as well as winter sports pitches.
Essential elements which are required by the grass plant in a relatively large amount. Macro-nutrients include carbon, oxygen and hydrogen, which are obtained from the air and water; nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulphur are obtained from the soil solution. Iron is sometimes included as a macro-nutrient. Silicon can also be a significant component of turfgrasses, although it is not classed as an essential element.
These are pores within the soil that are typically greater than 50-75µm (0.05 - 0.075mm) in diameter.
Symbol Mg. This is not a regular component of turf fertilisers, however, it may be required on sandy soils where it can be leached out.
See Leaf spot.
Also called Trace elements. Essential elements which are only required in relatively small amounts by the grass plant. These include iron (which is sometimes classed as a macro-nutrient), boron, chlorine, copper, manganese, molybdenum and zinc.
A substance with two or more atoms, e.g. water = H2O.
A low growing plant which can affect the quality of a turf area quite significantly. Different species can occur in a wide range range of situations. Moss typically occurs under the following situations:
Moist or very dry turf;
An acid soil with low fertility and especially a weak turf;
A turf which has been mown too closely;
A compacted soil;
Autumnal conditions which produce warm soils, humid air and short day lengths.
Machines used to cut grass. Different types of mowers include cylinder and rotary which are the commonest two, whilst flail and reciprocating knife mowers are used on infrequently mown areas.
This is the removal of leaf growth from the grass plant by means of a mower.
Acronym for the National Playing Fields Association; now known as Fields in Trust.
A soil with a pH of 7.0. For practical purposes this typically relates to a soil within a range of pH 6.5 - 7.5.
Symbol N. The main nutrient applied to turf. It also has the most influence on the appearance and content of the sward and produces noticeable leaf growth.
The nitrogen cycle is the circulation of nitrogen between living organisms and the environment.
A point on a stem (which can be a grass shoot, rhizome or stolon) from which arises a leaf, shoot or root, depending upon the type of stem.
Former name for Take-all patch disease.
Material within the soil which consists of decaying and decayed organic remains of plants and soil animals.
Particle density can be defined as the dry, solid mass of soil particles per unit volume: It is how much a certain volume of soil weighs when it is squashed together, without the pore spaces within the soil. The standard measurement is grams per cubic centimetre, or g cm-3.
An individual aggregate within a soil. There are four main types of ped: 1. Blocky; 2. Laminar (or Platy); 3. Prism-like; 4. Spheroidal.
A plant that takes more than two years to complete its life cycle.
See Lolium perenne.
See Performance Standard.
This means the measure of a best value authority's performance in exercising a function.
Performance Quality Standard
A complete representation of a product that has a range of clearly defined and measurable criteria that are associated with a specified level of quality
A criterion, or function, of a product that has a defined parameter of measurement and is measured using a stated method of test. The defined parameter of measurement may be different for the three levels of quality within the performance quality standards.
Within the Performance Quality Standard framework, this represents how the facility will play when it is being used.
Permanent Wilting Point
Water which is held very tightly by soil particles and is unavailable to the plant. To prevent a plant from wilting, additional water must be added to raise the water content above this point.
The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, i.e. from acid to alkaline, with neutral being pH 7.0 and with the pH of soils within the UK mainly falling within the range pH 4.0 - 8.0.
Plant vascular tissue (i.e. an internal network of vessels) that carries nutrients, in solution, throughout the plant.
Symbol P. Required for seed and root development, particularly on newly establishing turf areas: Mature swards do not require as much applied phosphorus. Phosphorus is also readily held onto by soil particles and is not leached.
The process of light being captured by the chlorophyll within a plant, which is then used to make carbohydrates.
(Annual meadow grass). The commonest weed grass which is found in lawns and sportsturf.
(Smooth stalked meadow grass). A hard wearing grass which is used in medium-fine and winter games areas.
Symbol K. This may help with improving drought resistance in plants and is also prone to leaching from sandy soils.
Acronym for Performance Quality Standard. This has three levels of quality: High Quality Standard, Standard Quality Standard and Basic Quality Standard (See Glossary for each). PQS can be defined as, 'A complete representation of a product that has a range of clearly defined and measurable criteria that are associated with a specified level of quality'.
Performance Quality Test. An IOG recommended method of test, typically where there is no appropriate British Standard method of test, for use within the Performance Quality Standards framework.
Within the Performance Quality Standard framework, this is the look of the facility. Users often perceive the facility to be good if it is well presented, without too much consideration being given to many of the underlying structural factors.
Light, soft hairs being present.
The 'degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfils requirements' (BS EN ISO 9000). The three different levels of Performance Quality Standard set well defined requirements.
This can relate to the use of a landscape rake - for the raking of soil when preparing ground, a garden type rake - for the raking of leaves or soil, a springbok rake - for leaves or a very light scarification, or a 'scrake' - a special scarifying rake.
scientific name = Laetisaria fuciformis. A common, mainly cosmetic, disease of red fescues and perennial ryegrass, which are growing in low nitrogen conditions.
An underground stem which gives rise to roots and shoots at the nodes. A rhizome is often scaly, i.e. with very small types of leaves. Example plant = Couch grass, Elymus repens, syn. Agropyron repens
A pattern of low 'ridges' or ribs appear during mowing. This can occur where a cylinder mower has been set incorrectly, with either the cutting height being too short for the grass or where the bottom blade is too tight against the cylinder.
This can be used to firm, that is consolidate, but not to compact the turf surface and is especially useful in firming the soil after any surface heave has occurred during the winter or spring.
Particles with a diameter from 2mm to 0.05mm. For turfculture purposes, sand is divided into several groups: Very coarse (2 - 1mm); Coarse (1 - 0.5mm); Medium (0.5 - 0.25mm); Fine (0.25 - 0.125mm) and Very fine (0.125 - 0.05mm).
Grooves, of various sizes, within a turfgrass area . A typical size of sand slit is 250-300mm depth x 25-50mm width and at 1m spacings. These are cut throughout the whole of an area, such as a football pitch, to improve drainage and playing quality.
This is the 'scratching' of the turf surface and is used to either raise up flat lying vegetation or to slightly penetrate into the surface rooting area of the turf.
This is found at the base of a grass leaf or stem.
Particles between sand and clay, with a diameter of between 0.05-0.002mm.
A thin tine, with either a diamond shape or a narrow rectangular shape with a curved end.
Smooth Stalked Meadow Grass
see Poa pratensis.
The exchange of atmospheric air and soil air.
This is the composition of the air within the soil and the concentration of the main gases are very similar to that which are found in the atmosphere.
This is the amount of pore spaces within a soil and is primarily influenced by the structure of the soil. Soil porosity is usually divided into Air-Filled Porosity and Water-Filled Porosity.
This describes how the soil particles and aggregates are arranged within the soil.
This describes the relationship between the sand, silt and clay particles that make up the soil. The different proportions of these particles within a soil will determine whether the soil is for example a sandy loam, silty loam or any of the other textural classes which describe a soil.
A narrow spike, similar to that of a garden fork, but usually chunkier.
Abbreviated to spp. (singular = sp.). A group of individuals which interbreed with each other, but generally not with other species.
A specification details what is required to either achieve an objective or what a product is that has to be achieved.
A (technical) document that contains precise criteria that can be used as guidelines to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose.
Within the Performance Quality Standard framework, this is where the surface is designed for general club use.
A stem which grows above ground in a horizontal manner. It gives rise to roots and shoots at the nodes. Example plant = Creeping bent, Agrostis stolonifera.
Acronym for the Sports Turf Research Institute. This is the UK's leading organisation that undertakes research on turf issues.
Within the Performance Quality Standard framework, this can be considered the physical make up of a particular facility, which includes vegetation, soil and organisms.
Sulphate of iron
Used as a turf tonic to help produce a darker green colour to the sward and assists in 'hardening' the grass against disease attack.
Not normally applied specifically as a fertiliser, as it is included in several other fertilisers which are commonly applied, e.g. ammonium sulphate. Powdered elemental sulphur is sometimes applied to turf and soil to reduce the soil pH, however, great care needs to be taken during application to ensure an even spread is given and also any thatch which is present is not of too high a density otherwise the sulphur can become lodged within the thatch, producing excessive localised acidity which would be detrimental to the sward quality.
Sustainable Usage Level
This is considered to be that which gives the maximum usage of a pitch, or facility, without causing an unacceptable reduction in playing quality. (Same as Carrying Capacity)
The total surface content of a grassed area, including grasses, bare areas, weeds, pests and disease content. Often synonymously referred to as turf or turf sward.
Sometimes called swishing. A long cane attached to a handle which is held by both hands and is used to remove dew and earthworm casts on fine turf areas.
scientific name = Gaumannomyces graminis. A destructive disease of bentgrasses which attacks the roots of the plant, unlike the majority of the other turfgrass diseases which attack the leaves.
The study of classification, for example, of plants.
The area from which golfers play their first shot.
On a golf course, a winter or frost green, or a green which may be used when renovation work is being carried out to the main greens.
A spike or prong such as that on a garden fork.
Apply a bulky material to the sward. Typical application rates range from 2-4 kg/m2.
This can include material such as soil, sand, clay loam, or a mixture of sandy loam and organic matter. The exact composition will depend on what purpose the top-dressing is required for and on what sort of facility it is to be used, e.g. an ornamental lawn will typically have a sandy soil as a top-dressing, whilst a cricket square will require a clay loam.
The total amount of pores within the soil.
Abbreviation for Total Quality Management. Customer satisfaction and continuous improvements are its main focus. TQM "assures maximum effectiveness and efficiency within an organization by putting in place processes and systems which will ensure that every aspect of its activity is aligned to satisfy customer needs and all other objectives without waste of effort and using the full potential of every person in the organization".
An area of grass which includes the leaves and roots as well as the rootzone, or at least part of it. It may refer to an existing turf area, such as an amenity lawn, or turf which is to be laid.
The study of turf maintenance and the management of the turf environment.
An organic compound that is now produced artificially and may be used as a fertiliser (46% N). Also called carbamide CO(NH2)2
Value For Money
The best use of available resources within a budget to provide a suitable relationship between capital and recurrent costs; to satisfy the user and to afford the opportunity for efficient management. Sometimes abbreviated to VFM.
This is a very light form of scarification carried out on fine sports turf areas, which raises loose vegetation at the base of the grass plant.
A tractor mounted implement for aeration. It typically has 12-18 solid or hollow tines of 18-25mm diameter, being 300-400mm in length. These are punched into the ground and on their extraction can cause shattering of the soil profile to aid drainage and root growth.
The amount of pore spaces within a soil that are fillwed with water.
These are undesirable elements in a turf area. Weeds are generally divided into two groups: (a) Large- (sometimes called Broad-) leaved weeds, such as dandelions, daisy, plantains etc. and (b) Small- (sometimes called Fine-) leaved weeds, such as clover, pearlwort, yarrow. This division is particularly useful when carrying out quality assessments of turf areas, as it saves time identifying each individual weed specie and allows for a good indication of the type of maintenance which may be required to control the weeds.
Plant vascular tissue (i.e. an internal network of vessels) that carries water and dissolved nutrients from the roots up to the other parts of the plant.
see Holcus lanatus.