What is Turf Management?
The name might be a little misleading. When a lot of people think of “turf,” they think of artificial grass on football fields and the like. When we’re answering the question, “What is turf management,” though, we mean something entirely different. Essentially, we define turf management as all the best practices that go into taking care of your yard.
You’ll often see the phrase in reference to sports fields and golf courses. A quick “what is turf management” search could lead you to thousands of sites about becoming a turf manager for a professional sports team, but you can also be the turf manager of your own backyard. There are lots of things you can do to practice similar sorts of high quality lawn care in your neck of the woods as the professionals.
The question, “What is turf management?” doesn’t come up all that much, we’ll give you that, but if you’re interested in taking the best possible care of your lawn, then it’s one you need to answer. Here, we’ve got you covered. Let’s jump into it.
What is turf management good for?
In short, turf management is just good lawn care. It means you’ll be taking the best possible care of your yard, and you’ll see the benefits in how green and lush your grass will grow. Most people want a healthy lawn just because it looks good, but there are also environmental reasons to keep up with your lawn care. Let’s get into some of the reasons you should know what turf management is beyond just aesthetics.
Cleaning up the air.
When you think about turf management and lawn care, you’re probably focused on the ground, but to really understand why you should know what turf management is, you need to look a little higher.
You’re probably already aware that excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is one of the causes of climate change, and that all plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Your lawn is no exception.
The other way your yard can help clean the air is by trapping dust. Some other pesky airborne particles will also get stuck in your grass, keeping them out of your lungs. That also translates into cleaner cars and windows, too, since there’s just less dust in the air to coalesce on them. It’s a big benefit you might not immediately think of when you’re just wondering what turf management is.
Cooling the area.
If your choice is between asphalt or grass, it’s pretty clear which option is cooler. Especially as part of a larger landscaping project involving trees and shrubs, your lawn can keep your cooling costs down. Trees provide cooling shade, but your lawn also provides a cooling effect through a process called evapotranspiration. That’s where water evaporates off of plants, leaving the area a bit cooler. It’s also just a lot more pleasant to conduct your summer fun in a grassy yard than on a hard, hot surface like concrete.
Getting some peace and quiet.
Your lawn can actually absorb and deflect some sound. It might sound too good to believe, but it’s true. Hard surfaces, like streets and sidewalks, are big areas for sound to bounce off of. Your yard is the exact opposite. Since it’s softer, the sound doesn’t bounce. Your grass insulation, soaking up some of the noises of your neighborhood. That’s one of the reasons urban areas with less green space are louder. Well, that, and the increased activity.
Prevent erosion and make the soil better.
Grass is an effective ground cover for difficult slopes to manage. The network of roots can help the soil structure stay healthy. What you don’t want is compacted soil, which has lost that good structure grass roots can provide. With a healthy lawn, the soil stays loose, meaning there’s enough space for water to seep down into it. Keeping the soil in optimal shape is a key concern with lawn care, and since it’s so directly tied to water, that brings us to our next point…
Keeping water supplies healthy.
Bare soil doesn’t do a great job of trapping stormwater runoff. It’ll just wash away and cause problems wherever it ends up, whether that’s clogging up a storm drain or polluting a creek. If there’s a nice, healthy lawn there, though, the grass can trap the water and it’ll seep down into the soil, like we described above.
Another one of the added benefits to preventing erosion is that these qualities also help improve water quality. As water flows through the soil, those roots will catch some pollutants. That keeps it cleaner.
Improving the value of your home.
Okay, so this one is a pretty sharp departure from the other benefits of lawn care we’ve listed so far. It’s not environmental at all. However, it’s still a compelling point to make not of when you’re wondering if it’s worth it to invest in turf management.
The basic idea is that maintaining a healthy and beautiful lawn will make your home more valuable by improving the curb appeal. Even if you’re not looking to sell your house in the near future, having a history of good lawn care once you’re ready to move on might make some difference in the amount you’re able to get from a potential buyer. It might be worth it to start today and avoid having one more headache when you’re trying to sell your place however many years down the road.
What are turf management best practices?
There are a lot of steps you can take create your own version of what turf management is. The important caveat here is that you will likely not need to take every lawn care step we’re about to list. The first best practice is to properly evaluate what your yard needs. You’ll need some data points to do that. One good way to get information about your lawn care needs is to test the pH level of the soil. You can also inspect the lawn yourself, looking for any soggy spots or dry patches. Once you’ve identified the problem spots, here are some lawn care steps you can take.
Feed your Lawn
Nothing can grow if it doesn’t have the proper nutrients, and your yard is no exception. Any lawn care regimen should likely include fertilization steps. You can buy bags of fertilizer, but you can also compost your yard clippings and kitchen scraps. Spreading those out over
The other kinds of nutrients any grass needs comes from water. You need to be regularly and properly watering your lawn. An irrigation system can automate that, or you can get out there with a regular old sprinkler. Whatever method you choose, it’s typically better to water for a longer time so that the water can seep deep into the soil.
To keep your lawn looking nice, you need to pay attention to more than just your grass. The soil it grows in is also a huge consideration. One way to keep that soil healthy is to aerate your lawn to prevent it from compacting. To do that, you’ll need some specialized tools. There are a lot of different ways to make aeration happen, and they all involve poking holes into your lawn about three inches deep.
All of these different aspects of turf management play into one another, and that’s definitely true of aeration. You can’t just poke some holes and call it a day. Combining this step with the other key lawn care components on this list is the best way to ensure you’re keeping your yard healthy. It’s also a good idea to complete these steps in a specific order and at specific times of the year. With aeration, you want to do it about once a year when your grass is growing at its peak rate. If you do it in the winter when the lawn is lying dormant, you might stress it out, which is never a good thing.
Most people with grass to take care of are already well aware that they’re going to have to mow it. But do you know the optimal length for your grass? You don’t ever want to cut off more than one third of the length at a time. That way, you can avoid stressing your lawn unnecessarily. You can read more about best lawn mowing practices and other lawn care tips in this blog post, but we’ll break down some of the basics here, too.
The exact optimal height for your lawn is going to depend on what type of grass you’re growing. Those who are truly dedicated to their lawn care will know precisely what type of grass they have and will look up the corresponding length suggestions, but if you’re not quite that particular, just know that cool season grasses should be about three and a half inches tall, and warm season grasses should be between one half and one and a half inches tall.
Protect from Pests
Part of becoming a lawn care expert is knowing how to keep your yard free of weeds, disease, and any other kind of infiltrations. You should be on the look out for trouble spots — maybe there’s a patch of grass that’s wilting, or a clump that’s loose. As soon as you become aware of something wrong, you need to identify exactly what kind of interloper you’re dealing with. If you suspect invasive insects, you’ll have to figure out what kind they are before you try to get rid of them, and you’ll likely need to call in the experts to make that determination.
If it’s weeds that are causing you problems, then you’ll likely be in search of a good herbicide. Here’s a little lawn care tip: Apply the herbicide in warm weather so the weeds absorb it more fully, but not when it’s so hot that your yard would get stressed in the process.
What is professional turf management?
Pretty much just what it sounds like. We mentioned in the introduction that residential lawn care is just one facet of what turf management is — professional turf managers handle sports fields and golf courses, making sure athletes can perform well on grass that’s in tip-top shape.
A lawn care company can also do professional turf management at your home, if you’re not feeling up to the task. We’ve laid out what you need to do, but not everybody has the time or inclination to take care of their yard. Leaving your yard in expert hands will ensure that you’re getting professional-level lawn care.
We’ve spent most of this piece answering the question “what is turf management” from a residential standpoint, but there’s absolutely a big market for professionals in the field as well. You can find all sorts of information on what turf management is for sports teams or golf courses, and you can find plenty of courses and programs to help you get started in that field.
Now you have all the answers to, “What is turf management?”
Since you’ve made it to the end of this piece, you don’t need to wonder, “What is turf management?” We’ve explained what turf management is in all its facets. You’re well aware of what turf management can do for you, and you’re well on your way to having the most enviable yard on the block. As we’ve said before, what turf management is to you can be a varied and individualized experience. You need to take the unique needs of your yard into consideration. Then, you can devise a lawn care plan that will address all of those specific concerns.
We also gave you plenty of motivation for improving your lawn care techniques. As we explained, it’s not just an aesthetic concern — having a healthy lawn can help improve your quality of life in all the environmental benefits we’ve outlined.
Plus, if you’re looking up “what is turf management” not for personal lawn care but because you’re considering a career in the field, there’s plenty of opportunity for that, too. Whatever your interest in lawn care is, we hope you now have healthy roots in the subject matter.