Glossary

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Bunch-type grass: Grasses that produce tillers rather than rhizomes or stolons.

C3 grasses: Type of grass which produces a 3-carbon chain molecule during photosynthesis, requiring lower light and temperatures than C4 grasses. These are generally found in cool, moist climates.

C4 grasses: Type of grass which produces a 4-carbon chain molecule during photosynthesis, requiring higher temperatures and light intensities than C3 grasses. C4 grasses require lower moisture levels and are generally more adapted to climates with hot summers.

Cultivar: A cultivar is a cultivated variety with specific selected traits. These traits are stable through generations when propagated properly.

Dormancy: A state entered by turfgrass when under severe temperature stress (hot or cold), or water stress (drought). During a dormancy period the turfgrass will temporarily cease shoot growth, but is still capable of regrowth once the stress has dissipated.

Fertilizers: are any material added to the turfgrass sward that provides essential plant nutrients as part of a turfgrass cultural program. Most fertilizers supply at least one essential plant nutrient, but often supply more than one.

Fertilizer Burn: occurs when a fertilizer is over applied. The fertilizer is essentially a salt that prevents water from entering the plant. The end result is typically yellow dry (burned) turf. Many times an orange color can be observed when the grass is still somewhat green. Seedlings are particularly susceptible to both salt damage and fertilizer burn. Fertilizer burn happens more often when using readily available (quick release) fertilizers with a high urea content.

Functional Quality and Visual Quality: While typically functional quality is the end goal often times aspects of visual quality affect the functional quality. Visual quality is often used because it is faster than testing the functional qualities of a turfgrass.

Photosynthesis: A process performed by plants to assimilate carbon. This carbon can be used as energy for plant processes or as the building blocks for plant growth. Photosynthesis is occurring in the green part of the plants and mostly in the leaves. The plant's ability to create energy for plant functions and growth can become limited when the leaves are limited in their size through mowing.

Quality: Turfgrass quality is related to the function of the turfgrass. In some cases we can break down the aspects of turfgrass quality into two basic groups: functional and visual quality. Functional quality involves the ability of a turf to meet the needs of its users – including such factors as the ability to withstand wear – and is often combined with visual quality (aesthetic appeal) when evaluating the overall quality of a turf.

Rhizomes: Underground stems that will produce daughter plants. Rhizomes are important for sod strength and can be used for carbohydrate (sugar) storage.

Thatch: Found at the soil-plant interface, thatch is comprised of un-decomposed and partially decomposed organic material.

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