Calcium for Florida Turfgrasses

Calcium is the dominant cation in all soils of agronomic importance. This 3-page document will explain the function of Calcium in turfgrasses, describe situations where applications would or would not be of value in turfgrass management, and identify calcium sources. Written by T. W. Shaddox and published by the UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture Department, March 2018.

Magnesium for Florida Turfgrasses

Soluble magnesium (Mg) is often applied to turfgrasses in both granular and foliar forms, and is therefore essential to understanding the function of Mg in the plant, the dynamics of Mg in the soil, and the forms of Mg fertilizers. This 3-page document discusses the function and forms of magnesium in turfgrasses. Written by T. W. Shaddox and published by the UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture Department, March 2018.

La Grama St. Augustine para Patios de Florida

La grama o césped St. Augustine está muy adaptada a las zonas calurosas y húmedas (subtropicales) del mundo. Se cree que es nativa de las regiones costeras del Golfo de México y del Mediterráneo. St. Augustine es la especie de grama más usada en Florida. This is the Spanish-language version of ENH5/LH010, St. Augustinegrass for Florida Lawns. St. Augustinegrass is the most commonly-used lawn grass in Florida. This 10-page document describes its cultivation and management for Florida lawns. Written by L. E. Trenholm, J. B. Unruh, T. W. Shaddox, C. Balerdi, and H. Mayer and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Environmental Horticulture, January 2018.

The Fate of Nitrogen Applied to Florida Turfgrass

The quality of Florida’s surface and ground waters is of utmost importance to the flora and fauna living in them, as their growth is directly related to the amount of nutrients in these waters. In order to make informed decisions regarding nitrogen (N) applications to turfgrass, it is important to understand the N cycle in the soil/turfgrass system. The objective of this 8-page publication is to identify and describe the sources and potential fates of N applied to Florida turfgrass. Written by T.W. Shaddox and J.B. Unruh and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Environmental Horticulture, January 2018.

Iron for Florida Turfgrasses

Man standing on lawn while sprinkler soaks turfgrass in foreground

Iron (Fe) is commonly applied to enhance turfgrass color. Understanding the dynamics of Fe both in the plant and in the soil could greatly enhance your nutrient management programs. The objective of this 4-page publication is to explain the function of Fe within the plant, describe the Fe sources available for turfgrasses, and identify which forms of Fe are most effective in improving turfgrass quality. Written by Travis Shaddox and J.B. Unruh and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Environmental Horticulture, January 2018.

Soil Testing and Interpretation for Florida Turfgrasses

John Cisar, a professor of Environmental Horticulture at the University of Florida's Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, is studying how turfgrass and other landscape plants can help prevent nitrogen from leaching through the soil into groundwater, Wednesday - Aug. 13, 2003. He said three years of research have shown that turfgrass is most effective in reducing nitrogen leaching and should be used in Florida landscapes. Other plants require more time to become established and slow nitrogen leaching through the soil.
Most people agree that healthy, well-maintained turfgrass is a thing of beauty. The successful growth of turfgrass is aided by having knowledge of a few basic facts concerning the nutritional requirements of turfgrasses and the properties of fertilizer and liming materials. This four-page document will help the reader understand how soil testing may be used to more efficiently manage nutrient applications for Florida turfgrasses. Written by T.W. Shaddox and J.B. Sartain and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Soil and Water Sciences, October 2017.

Nematode Management in Residential Lawns

Plant-parasitic nematodes are among the least understood and most difficult pests to manage on turfgrass in Florida. They are very small, and most can only be seen with the aid of a microscope. They use a stylet to puncture plant cells, to inject digestive juices into them, and to ingest plant fluids. The most reliable way to determine whether plant-parasitic nematodes are involved in a turf problem is to have a nematode assay conducted by a professional nematode diagnostic lab. This 6-page fact sheet was written by William T. Crow, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology.

Nematode Management on Athletic Fields

Roots of nematode-damaged turf may appear “cropped off” an inch or less below the surface.

Turfgrasses are essential components of many athletic fields, racetracks, and parks. Plant-parasitic nematodes can damage athletic fields by weakening turf root systems and causing turf to pull up during play, which can create dangerous conditions for players. To help keep turf–and athletes–healthy, this 7-page fact sheet written by William T. Crow and published by the Department of Entomology and Nematology explains how to spot and manage a nematode problem in an athletic field.

Nitrogen to Potassium Ratios for Florida Golf Courses

Golf course nutrient management programs commonly include application of both nitrogen and potassium. These macronutrients are required by turfgrass in greater quantities than any other element except carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. This two-page fact sheet explains the Nitrogen to Potassium ratios that are best for golf courses. Written by T.W. Shaddox and J.B. Unruh and published by the Environmental Horticulture Department.

Tissue Testing and Interpretation for Florida Turfgrasses

Tissue analysis offers a precise estimate of a plant’s nutritional status at the time of sampling. Nutrient deficiencies can be detected with tissue analysis before visual symptoms appear. This three-page fact sheet describes the importance of tissue testing and how to interpret the results. Written by T.W. Shaddox and published by the Environmental Horticulture Department.

Managing Scale Insects and Mealybugs on Turfgrass

Dimargarodes meridionalis adult female

This 8-page fact sheet written by Adam Dale and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology in February 2017 describes the types of scale insects and mealybugs that can become pests in turf, explains the damage they do, and lists management techniques to control them.

Nematode Management for Golf Courses in Florida

UF/IFAS is committed to providing the most current information on the notoriously difficult problem of managing nematodes on golf courses. This publication is updated and revised whenever there is a breaking development, to bring you the new information and management advice. Nine pages, revised in January 2017 by William T. Crow and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology.

Insect Pest Management on Turfgrass

Granulate cutworm larvae.
Turfgrass is grown in many environments and for different uses, including home lawns, parks, athletic fields, cemeteries, golf courses, sod farms, pastures, and right-of-ways. The intensity of turfgrass insect management largely depends on the turf species, variety, and its intended use. This eighteen-page fact sheet describes how to manage a variety of insect pests including armyworms, bermudagrass mite, cutworms, fire ants, ground pearls, hunting billbug, mole crickets, scales/mealybugs, southern chinch bug, twolined spittlebugs, tropical sod webworm, and white grubs. Written by Eileen A. Buss and Adam G. Dale, and published by the Entomology and Nematology Department.

Landscape Integrated Pest Management

Figure 3. Tussock moth caterpillar feeding on an oak leaf. Fras droppings are shown beneath the caterpillar, indicating the type of pest. Credits: A.G. Dale

Every landscape manager has a pest management toolbox, which contains tools that represent different management strategies. People can be quick to use pesticides, but an integrated approach using multiple tools can be much safer, have longer lasting beneficial effects, and in some cases cut costs. This 5-page fact sheet will help Extension agents and specialists, lawn and landscape managers, Florida Master Gardeners, and homeowners develop long-term sustainable pest management programs using an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) framework. Written by Adam G. Dale and published by the Department of Entomology and Nematology.

Florida Biosolids: Management and Land Application Rules

Class AA biosolids (black colored granules) land-applied to a corn field prior to planting.Biosolids are the liquid, semisolid, and solid fractions of the treated waste stream from a domestic wastewater treatment facility (WWTF). On August 29, 2010, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) formally adopted its rule for the management of wastewater biosolids, Chapter 62-640, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C. 2010). This 6-page fact sheet from the Florida Biosolids series covers applicability of the rule, the intent of Chapter 62-640, F.A.C., land application requirements, biosolids storage, cumulative application limits, setback distances, pH, soil depth, runoff prevention, additional application site restrictions for Class B biosolids, NMPs, and special geographic areas. Written by John Hallas, Cheryl L. Mackowiak, and Ann C. Wilkie, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, October 2015.

US Consumer Preferences for Home Lawn Fertilizers

Consumer preferences for home lawn fertilizers are not always informed and do not always align with best practices. Understanding the disconnect will help turf industry educators better address consumers’ misperceptions about fertilizers, and help industry stakeholders design more appealing products and educate consumers effectively as they promote them. Knowing consumer preferences greatly reduces stakeholders’ risks and improves efficiency in determining future product and promotional strategies. This 4-page report discusses the findings of a 2013 survey of 1,066 US homeowners about their preferences and willingness-to-pay for various lawn fertilizer attributes. Written by Hayk Khachatryan, Alicia Rihn, and Michael Dukes and published by the Food and Resource Economics Department.

Turfgrass Herbicides: Mechanisms of Action and Resistance Management


Herbicides are an effective tool for controling weeds in turfgrass; however, weeds can become resistant to herbicides and create significant problems for turfgrass production. The best way to combat herbicide resistance is to rotate herbicides with different mechanisms of action (MOA) because using herbicides with different MOAs makes it more likely that weeds resistant to one herbicide will encounter an herbicide to which they are not resistant. This 4-page fact sheet focuses on how to create an herbicide program that uses different MOAs to manage resistant weeds. Written by Ramon G. Leon and Bryan Unruh, and published by the UF Department of Agronomy, August 2015.

Doveweed (Murdannia nudiflora) Control in Warm-Season Turfgrass Species

 close-up of doveweed plants growing within the turf Doveweed is an aggressive, naturalized summer annual weed that rapidly invades warm-season turfgrass species, especially in residential lawns, and few herbicides can effectively control it. Because of these challenges, a well-designed management strategy is necessary for doveweed control. This 4-page fact sheet describes identification, growth requirements, chemical control and cultural practices. Written by Ramon G. Leon and Bryan Unruh, and published by the UF Department of Agronomy, June 2015.

Screening Methods for Southern Chinch Bug Resistance in St. Augustinegrass

Figure 1. Bag test.Relying on insecticides for southern chinch bug control raises turfgrass maintenance costs, increases the risk that insects will develop resistance to insecticides, and may damage the environment. Host-plant resistance is a relatively sustainable and environmentally sound option for management of this damaging insect pest.To develop new resistant varieties, plant materials must be screened for new sources of southern chinch bug resistance. Screening methods to measure host plant resistance of St. Augustinegrass to southern chinch bugs have measured nymphal and/or adult survival in so-called no-choice tests in which only the experimental plant materials were provided. There are four types of screening methods described in this 4-page fact sheet was written by Huangjun Lu and Ronald Cherry, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, October 2014. (Photo credit: Long Ma, UF/IFAS Extension)

Mosaic Disease of St. Augustinegrass caused by Sugarcane Mosaic Virus

Figure 1.  Mosaic symptoms on leaf blades of St. Augustinegrass infected with Sugarcane Mosaic Virus Mosaic disease of St. Augustinegrass was first reported in the 1960s in sugarcane producing areas of Palm Beach County, Florida. In the 10 years prior to 2013, less than 5 samples with mild symptoms were brought to the attention of the extension turfgrass pathologist. But in September 2013, an outbreak of the disease occurred in Pinellas County. Leaf symptoms included mosaic, but turned necrotic and the severe dieback that completely killed some infected lawns. In September 2014, lawns infected in 2013 and new lawns started dying in both Pinellas and Palm Beach Counties. Despite the similarity of symptoms to another St. Augustinegrass decline (SAD), as of November 2014, all samples have tested negative for SAD, and positive for presence of Sugarcane Mosaic Virus. This 3-page fact sheet was written by Phil Harmon, and published by the UF Department of Plant Pathology, November 2014.