Friday, January 25, 2013


Nick Christians
January 25, 2013

The post below is from August 9 during the peak of the drought of 2012.  We applied some lawn care treatments to turf areas at the research station to see if there would be any damage from applying treatments to dormant turf.

It rained shortly after the treatments and we had recovery on all of our non-irrigated turf .  We saw no damage from applying these treatments to dormant turf.  In every case, we saw an improvement in the turf where we applied treatments during the drought in August.

iaTURF: FERTILIZING LAWNS DURING DROUGHT STRESS-2012: Nick Christians August 9, 2012 On Friday July 20, 2012, I put up a blog post about some 1988 work that we did with an Iowa lawn care...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Nick Christians
January 23, 2013

Here is an article from the January Golf Course Management Magazine about John and Son Mark Newton.  They will be recognized at the GCSAA meetings when Mark becomes certified.

I was the adviser for both of them.  John in 1981 and Mark in the early 2000's.

It is in jpg format.  You will need to click on it to read it.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Nick Christians
January 21, 2013

Kevin Hansen, one of our sports turf students, was chosen for the Toro Super Bowl Sports Turf Training Program this year.  As part of this, he will work for 7 days to help prepare for the Super Bowl and will be on the side-lines for the game.  Only one student nation-wide is selected for this honor. 

This has been getting a lot of publicity locally.  Here are links to the Des Moines Register story and a press release by the university.

Watch for him at the game.

Kevin Hansen has been selected for the Toro's Super Bowl Sports Turf Training Program. Hansen, a senior in horticulture, will work alongside NFL field director Ed Mangan and the Super Bowl grounds crew on turf maintenance, logo painting, field preparation for media day, halftime preparation and clean-up at the Superdome in New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3. Hansen also scored a spot on the sidelines during the game.

Links at:


Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Nick Christians
January 15, 2013

Here is a post by Quincy Law on Organic Weed Control.  It is a poster that he presented at the American Society of Agronomy Meetings in Cincinnati, OH.  Quincy was an undergraduate research associate here at Iowa State before beginning an Master of Science program at Purdue with former Iowa Stater Aaron Patton.

Quincy can be reached at Law, Quincy D  

The entire poster is available at:

and the jpg image is below.

Friday, January 11, 2013


Dan Strey and Nick Christians
January 11, 2012

Here is a post by Dan Strey, research technician at the Turfgrass Research area.  It is about a new tee complex that he constructed in the fall 2012.  it will be used in future years for research and demonstration purposes at the station. (Nick)

(From Dan)

I think we can all say that 2012 was certainly an interesting and difficult year. Most of us are probably glad to see the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013.
During the heat of last summer, the crew at the research farm constructed a new tee complex that will be used for research and demonstrations. The process took approximately two months from start to finish. Some of you may have seen it mid-way through construction during field day.

The existing site was built to USGA specifications which included; 12” of sand, 4-6” of pea gravel, and drain tile laid into the subgrade. Both the sand and gravel were stripped off in layers using a Bobcat T-190. The materials were kept separate and stockpiled to reuse for the construction of the tee complex.



 After the sand and gravel was removed, the subgrade was reshaped to match the new contours. This process required a cut and fill approach, since all of the material had to stay on site and be reused. Once the subgrade was formed, a 4-6” pea gravel layer was then installed and followed by a 12” layer of sand. The surrounding areas were constructed using native soil from the site. The project was completed without requiring the need of transporting materials; all materials were used from the existing site.

The irrigation system that was previously installed was removed prior to the excavation and used for parts to reduce the cost of the renovation. A new system was required to be able to control both the green and tee individually.  Golf course greens and tees require different amounts of moisture throughout the year. New lateral lines (2-1/2” Sch. 40 PVC) were installed and attached to the two existing valves. The eight existing heads (Toro TR70) were cleaned and reinstalled. 

The seedbed was prepared using a Toro Sand Pro 5040. This smoothed the area while still providing a firm surface. Both the tee and green were seeded with 007 creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) on October 1, 2012. The cultivar was chosen for its ability to resist dollar spot disease and heat tolerance. The areas were seeded at a rate of 1.75 lbs/1,000 ft² using a Scotts SS-2 drop spreader. After seeding, the same Toro Sand Pro was driven over the surface repeatedly to provide seed to soil contact. A starter fertilizer was applied at a rate of 1 lb. of phosphorus/1,000 ft²

 The area was covered using permeable grow covers to maintain soil temperatures during the fall months. Germination was observed 10 days after seeding. The grow covers were removed four weeks after germination to allow the seedlings to harden off before winter.