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QTPA Member Alert | TURF AND ITS MANAGEMENT (29/10/12)


The following article appeared in the Sydney morning Herald, in October 1937 and thought it would be of interest to the Turfgrass producers in Queensland.

An American authority stated that “turf culture is the growing of plants against all laws of nature”.

REF: Sydney Morning Herald (12 Oct 1937) p. 9.


Scientific Principles

At a meeting of the New South Wales branch of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science, Mr. A. W. S. Moodie, Acting Agrostologist of the Department of Agriculture, gave an address on the scientific principles of turf culture. He mentioned that the application of science to problems of turf maintenance was of comparatively recent origin. Much valuable work in this direction had been carried out by the United States Golf Association’s green section and the Board of Grasskeeping Research of Great Britain. As a matter of fact, it was due almost entirely to golf organisations that so much valuable research work had been carried out, but the results were now being applied to all forms of sports turf and to home lawns.

Turf culture was a highly specialised form of agriculture, and the management of the dense sward of plants of which turf was composed represented a form of very intense culture. The plants existing under crowded unnatural conditions and maintained by copious waterings and liberal feeding were sensitive to even slight modifications in management, and were susceptible to fungus diseases and Insect attack. The American authority that was responsible for the statement that “turf culture is the growing of plants against all the laws of nature” provided a very apt description.

All branches of agricultural science had contributed to the knowledge regarding turf grasses and their successful management. From soil chemists had come methods of testing soils for the purpose, and the reactions of soils to various fertiliser treatments had been studied closely. Plant pathologists had contributed valuable Information regarding the recognition and treatment of fungus diseases such as “brown patch” and “dollar spot,” and entomologists had shown that it was impossible to deal effectively with most of the insect pests which invaded turf. Botanists and agrostologists had been responsible for Isolating and testing strains within the various species used for turf production, and for improved mechanical treatments essential for maintaining turf in perfect condition.

Mr. Moodie added that weed control in sports turf and home lawns presented a serious problem, but thanks to the efforts of various workers, it was now possible to deal with most weeds without the necessity for tedious work.


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