Thursday, December 20, 2012


Nick Christians
Dec. 20, 2012

The advanced turf course, Hort 451 will be offered on line in the spring of 2013.  This is the first time that this course has been offered for off campus students.  It is available for undergraduate or minor graduate credit.  This is a two credit course, with two hours of lecture per week.

For a brief video on its content and to register, go to: 

The Basic Turf Course, Hort 351 will also be available this spring.

  This is a 3 credit course with 3 hours of lecture per week.

For more information, see: 

The cost for off campus students for either course, including those out of state or in other countries,  is:

Undergraduate credit - $277/credit
Graduate credit - $431/credit
Delivery fee - $162

If you have any questions, contact me:

Nick Christians, Ph.D.
University Professor
Iowa State University
Department of Horticulture
133 Horticulture Bldg.
Ames, IA 50011

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Nick Christians
December 8, 2012

I posted some pictures from Derek Settle a few days ago about early snow mold developing because of the unusual weather conditions.  This seems to be a growing problem.  Many superintendents put down covers at the usual time in November and then found that the unusually warm weather is resulting in pink snow mold way earlier than they are used to seeing it.

Here are some pictures from this week from my son Tim at Makray in Chicago.  They covered some newly seeded bentgrass tees to bring them in quickly.  This pink snow mold is on the mature bent surrounding the tees that was under the cover.

He rolled the covers back yesterday and put on a snow mold treatment.

Friday, November 30, 2012

ISU’s Kevin Hansen Winner of Toro 2013 Super Bowl Sports Turf Training Program

Dave Minner
November 30, 2012

The Toro Company has recognized Kevin Hansen, ISU Horticulture Senior, as the recipient of its annual Toro Super Bowl Sports Turf Training Program. In partnership with the National Football League® (NFL), Hansen will be on the field at the Superdome in New Orleans for Super Bowl XXLVII to assist the grounds crew for the biggest football game of the year.
Through the Sports Turf Training Program, Toro and the NFL's Super Bowl grounds team collaborate to offer a program aimed at enhancing the skills of emerging sports turf professionals. This program provides hands-on experience in establishing and maintaining safe playing fields. Kevin will learn from the legendary George Toma, a trusted consultant and advisor who has helped prepare the field for every Super Bowl game in history. Kevin will also work alongside NFL field director Ed Mangan, and the Super Bowl grounds crew on turf maintenance, logo painting, field preparation for media day, and halftime preparation and clean-up.
While at Iowa State University Hansen has gained valuable sports turf experience by working at Jack Trice Stadium under the direction of Certified Sports Field Manager Tim VanLoo, Athletic Department.  VanLoo and his entire crew with several horticulture students were recently recognized with the Sports Turf Managers College Football Field of the Year Award.  Hansen has also served as a summer intern for the I-Cubs with Chris Schlosser and the Green Bay Packers with Allen Johnson, CSFM.
Toro equipment and representatives have been involved in preparing the stadium and practice fields for the Super Bowl for over 40 years. Starting with the inaugural World Championship in 1967, the NFL grounds crew has relied on Toro for its expertise in preparing the game field and multiple practice facilities. In 2003, the organizations partnered to establish The Toro Super Bowl Sports Turf Training Program.
Congratulations to Kevin Hansen and all those sports turf managers, classmates, and advisers who will watch the Super Bowl this year knowing that one of our own is in the house. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Nick Christians
November 29, 2012

Congratulations to Tim VanLoo and the crew at Iowa State Universities Athletic Department for winning this year’s SportsTurf Managers Association of America's (STMA) Football Field of the Year Award.  This is a highly competitive and very prestigious national award and we here at Iowa State are very proud of them.

The winning field is selected by a panel of 11 judges who independently score each entry based on the playability and appearance of the playing surfaces, innovative solutions employed, effective use of budget, and the development and implementation of a comprehensive, sound agronomic program.
The presentation of the award will be made at the STMA annual awards banquet on Fri., Jan. 18, 2013, held at the Ocean Center and the Hilton Daytona Beach in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Tim can be reached at:

Tim VanLoo, CSFM
Iowa State University
Jacobson Athletic Bldg
1800 S 4th St
Ames, IA 50011

Here are a few pictures of the field taken by graduate student, Zach Simons, who works with Tim at the ISU Athletic Department.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Nick Christians
November 27, 2012

Here is a post from Derek Settle of the Chicago District Golf Association.  It is about Pink Snow Mold caused by (Michrodochium nivale).  This is the earliest report of this disease that I am aware of in the region.  I normally see it in late winter.

It has been a strange year and there are many things showing up at strange times.  I find that what Derek sees in Chicago, we generally see here in Iowa.

The first three pictures are from North Shore Country Club in Glenview,  Ill.  They were taken by Derek on November 16.  They are on a Poa/bent 50/50 mix.

Derek is at 

Derek Settle, PhD
Director of Turfgrass Program
Chicago District Golf Association
11855 Archer Ave
Lemont, IL 60439
P 630.685.2307
C 785.341.9419

Be sure to check out his web site.  He puts out some great information.  You can also connect with him on Facebook, which is where I picked up this information.

This is a slide from my teaching set showing the canoe shaped spores of Microdochium.  This is what you would look for under the microscope to determine if the symptoms are caused by Microdochium.