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The Agronomy Kennel

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by GroundKprs, Dec 25, 2002.

  1. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    Welcome to the cage of inquiring minds. Please leave your ego at the door when you click this thread in the future.

    There may be dogfights here, but think hard about lifting your leg to whiz on another poster here. You will just show everyone else how small you are.

    A previous attempt at open education on this forum was frequently criticized for length. Do you know that if you would want to learn about aeration on this forum today, and do a search, you have to wade through over 750 threads? What's the sense in even starting? But if you do, you'd quickly stumble on the <a href="http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=28321&highlight=aeration">"Out the window......." thread</a>, and maybe find a few things to tickle your mind.

    If your object in the green industry is to maximize your efficiency and increase your revenues in cutting grass, or to tell everyone else here how great you are, please stop here, and don't waste your time coming back in the future. There are plenty of other threads to keep you busy.

    If you want to expand your mind, or help others to expand theirs, hang on and let's explore.

    If anyone has a question, don't be concerned about asking it. Even if we have some here who can't understand the 2nd paragraph above, don't let small ones worry you. The only stupid question is the one that is not asked.
  2. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    Now how many here ever have to look over a property real good, to make sure they didn't miss anything mowing? Because while you were doing that mundane mowing job, your mind was way off somewhere else?

    Does anyone ever wonder about the grass plant itself? That single plant, multiplied millions, sometimes billions of times, that you hew down every week or so? Let's take a close look. This pic has most of the main parts identified:

  3. rvsuper

    rvsuper Senior Member
    Posts: 930

    The only part on that plant I have never heard of is the spikelet.
  4. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    Well, most grasses have a distinctive seedhead, made up of spikelets, so you can use that for an ID. But only for 2-4 weeks of the year. How do you ID grasses for the rest of the year?

    First you learn how to identify the different types of the parts in the pic above. Are the ligules hairy, membraneous or absent? Are the auricles long and clawlike, short and stubby, or absent? Etc., Etc. See some of the variations <a href="http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/library/hort2/mf2031.pdf">on this page</a>

    When you can recognize the variations in the parts of the plant, then you can use a KEY to identify different grasses in your lawns. <a href="http://www.everythingturf.co.uk/infoguides/grasskey.htm">Here is a KEY</a> to identify 36 different grasses in the UK. Note you start by looking at one part and make a choice of what variation of that part, to eliminate all the grasses that don't have that characteristic for that part. Sorry, couldn't find a good USA key. Was no web when I started, had to get all this from books, LOL.

    There are KEYS for identification of many things in nature: grasses, shrubs, insects, and so on. But to use them, you have to look close and understand the terminology.

    Oh yeah, that UK site does have bluegrass on it, but they don't call it "bluegrass" over there. Anyone able to identify what number at the bottom of the page is our Kentucky bluegrass?
  5. crazygator

    crazygator LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,048


    I was wondering if you could make me a master set of keys. This way I could keep them in the truck to unlock any grass questions while in the field.....:D

  6. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    Crazy G, I just use little books put out by Scotts to ID grasses and broadleaves out in the field. The grass book has a key in it, and it covers cool season and warm season grasses. Sorry, don't feel like plodding thru snow to truck right now. I'll post the names of the books tomorrow.
  7. N Cognito

    N Cognito Banned
    Posts: 3


    But notice the location of the poster on each post. Makes a big difference what type of grass you are working with.

    Maybe even precede your post with your grass type:

    C3 for cool season turf
    TR for transition zone
    C4 for warm season turf

    Then, in the future, a new member could easily scan for info pertinent to his grass type.
  8. Tony Harrell

    Tony Harrell LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 739

    There's a ton of info on here and I'm very thankful for any help I get. Insects are identified in the same manner as you describe. I disagree with the kennel though, more like catfights!
  9. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    Here ya go, crazygator. The top one isn't too clear: it's Scotts Guide to the Identification of Grasses. It has good description of turfgrass taxonomy (taxonomy = the classification of organisms in an ordered system that indicates natural relationships). Short descriptions and line drawings of 60 grasses found in North America. And it has a key to identify a grass plant as one of the 60.

    The dicot turf weed book has 100 common broadleaf weeds, same format, but doesn't have a key. By the time you pluck a weed out of the lawn and thumb through to find it, you'll not forget it, LOL.

    Nice little books to take in truck. Don't see them listed on scotts.com, though. Just fancy covers there; just like people and plants though, sometimes the neatest things come in plain wrappers. I got mine years ago by calling Scotts; I hope they still publish them.

    scotts books.jpg
  10. turfdog21

    turfdog21 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 115

    Hey, I'm semi-paper trained and tied to the tree of life these daze...........however, I still got some bark left in me.

    What better place to woof it up, but here at the kennel.

    Here's what the turfdog does when he comes upon a "weed" (which by the way, is defined as ANY plant not in its place)

    A rose growing in the middle of a mono-culture of Kentucky bluegrass IS a weed.

    And that beautiful, dark green, grass plant growing in the rose bed IS a weed.

    With that said.

    Take ONE plant of the so-called "weed"....and place it in its own "grow spot" (a 1 foot by 1 foot square)

    And watch everything that sucker does for a complete season.

    Watch HOW it grows....why it grows....how it reproduces....roots....shoots......flowers....seeds......markings.....what kind of bugs n fungus come around......does it tiller.....etc.

    If it's a grass plant you're watching.................keep an eye out for how that one plant fills in that 1 by 1 area.

    Or by how big and complex that ONE plant got.

    They're not weeds until someone calls them one.

    Each and every one of em are a product of the plant kingdom.............and are no more special than the next.

    Sure, I agree......................that giant crabgrass plant sittin right by your accounts driveway may be "ugly" in your oppinion....................But, some sick s.o.b. somewhere thinks it's beautiful.

    Sure, impress me with the name of the plant, but what really makes the turfdog's fur fly is when you tell me why it's there and what it's doing and what it's going to do next.

    Now there's something to think about.

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