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Turf Management in the Transition Zone


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Table of Contents


1. Introduction.

Need for Turfgrass Management.

Turfgrass Plant Anatomy and Physiology.

Selected References.

2. Grass Species.

Naming Conventions.

Kentucky Bluegrass.

Perennial Ryegrass.

Tall Fescue.

Fine-Leaved Fescues.


Annual Bluegrass.

Rough Bluegrass.




Selected References.

3. Growth Cycle Considerations.

Cool-Season Grasses.

Warm-Season Grasses.

Selected References.

4. Nutrient Requirements.

Nutrient Absorption.



Selected References.

5. Fertilizers.

Fast-Release Nitrogen Fertilizers.

Slow-Release Nitrogen Fertilizers.

Synthetic Organic Nitrogen Compounds.

Fertilizer Ratio.

Salt Index and Osmotic Potential.

6. Fertilization.

Ferti lizing Cool-Season Grasses.

Fertilizing Warm-Season Grasses.

Nitrogen Application.

Other Nutrients.

Liquid Fertilizers.


Selected References.

7. Mowing Considerations.

Mowing Guidelines.

Mower Selection and Operation.

Growth-Regulating Chemicals.

Clipping Heights and Interspecies Dynamics.

Selected References.

8. Soil Management.

Chemical Properties of Soils.

Soil Organisms.

Organic Matter.

Soil Acidity.

Physical Properties of Soils.

Addressing Soil Compaction.

Selected References.

9. Moisture Management.

The Need for Moisture.

How Turfgrasses Absorb Water.

Soil Water-Holding Capacity.

Movement of Moisture to Roots.

Mechanical Irrigation Systems.

Determining the Need for Irrigation.

Hand Watering.

Irrigation Guidelines.

Irrigation Technique: Some Final Considerations.

Outlook for Moisture Management.

Selected References.

10. Thatch Management.

Thatch Development.

Why Thatch Is Bad.

Preventing Excessive Thatch.

Selected References.

11. Weed Management.

Weed Classifications.

Weeds of the Transition Zone.

Weed Control.


User and Environmental Safety Precautions.

Guidelines for Use of Herbicides.


Alternatives to Chemical Weed Control.

Selected References.

12. Disease Management.

Disease Classifications.

Abiotic Influences.

Common Turfgrass Diseases.

Disease Control.


Selected References.

13. Insect Management.

Insect Growth and Morphology.

Common Turfgrass Insects.

Insect Control.


Nuisance Predators.

Selected References.

14. Establishing Turf.

Dealing with Existing Vegetation.

Soil Grading and Drainage.

Spreading Topsoil.

Amending the Soil.

Adding Nutrients.


Final Grading and Smoothing.

Applying a Starter Fertilizer.


Alternatives to Seeding.

Selected References.


About the Author

JOHN DUNN, PHD, is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, where he taught and conducted research in turfgrass management and physiology. His research focus was on temperature stress physiology of turfgrasses. Within this general area, he directed his principal effort toward the study of cold hardiness of zoysiagrass and other warm season grasses.

KENNETH DIESBURG, PHD, is a professor in the Department of Plant, Soil, and General Agriculture at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, where he coordinates the Turfgrass Management Breeding and Research program.

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