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Green School Turf Management Track

Turf is a major component of our collective landscape, and properly maintained turf provides many functional, recreational, and ornamental benefits. The goal of each responsible turfgrass practitioner is to produce surfaces that meet functional and aesthetic expectations while at the same time minimizing the impact of management practices on human health, natural resources, and the greater environment.  Furthermore, whether the setting is residential, municipal or commercial these goals must be accomplished with a keen eye to efficiency and economic viability.  Green School's Turf Management Track seeks to address these concerns and also to convey a strong framework of research-based management fundamentals.  This track is appropriate for professionals including landscapers, lawn care personnel, municipal and private groundskeepers and others wishing to receive in depth-training on the care of turf in the landscape.

For registration instructions and general program information, go to the Green School main page.

Turf Management Schedule/Curriculum

Daily Schedule: With the exception of the first day which starts at 8:45 am for everyone, lectures run daily 9:00 am to 3:15 pm, with a 1 hour break for lunch.

Please note: The schedule below from 2018 provides an sample of the curriculum and instructors. The dates and schedule will change when the program is finalized in June 2020.

Monday, October 29, 2018
8:45 AM Orientation
An overview on note taking, preparing for exams, general operating procedures, snow cancellation policies, credit for certification programs and Mass. pesticide license, instructor evaluations and certificate requirements.
9:15 AM Plant Form and Function
Mary Owen, UMass Extension
Learning how plants are put together, how they grow, and how they respond to their environment can help practitioners understand the cultural requirements of landscape plants, be helpful in avoiding problems relating to plant health, and aid in the diagnosis of plant health issues.
2:15 PM Basic Principles of IPM and PHC
Tawny Simisky, UMass Extension
The principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) form the foundation for understanding and implementing wise management strategies for pests. IPM management techniques assist in reducing pest populations while protecting beneficial organisms and utilize best management practices that are least harmful to humans and the environment. This often includes reducing dependence on chemical pesticides. Plant Health Care (PHC) employs many of the aspects of IPM and is tailored for the Green Industry.
Thursday, November 1, 2018
9:00 AM Soils Basics
Deborah Henson, University of Massachusetts
Understanding basic physical and chemical properties of soils and how proper management can improve soil health for better plant growth.
12:45 PM Turf Quality and Management Systems
Mary Owen, UMass Extension
This session will include a discussion of integrated management systems based on turf quality expectations and performance.
Monday, November 5, 2018
9:00 AM Basic Entomology
Tawny Simisky, UMass Extension
An overview of the characteristics that define insects from their close relatives, identification of the major orders of insects common to the Northeast, and life strategies common to these groups. Also a brief look at identifying larval (immature) insects and their development as driven by temperature. Basic entomology will set the stage for the common insect pests encountered by the Green Industry, while reminding us that the majority of insects are not pests.
12:45 PM Turfgrass Selection
Jason Lanier, UMass Extension
Selection decisions are among the most important that a turf manager makes. Characteristics of turfgrass species and criteria for selection of grasses for specific uses will be addressed.
Thursday, November 8, 2018
9:00 AM Pesticide Safety
Tawny Simisky, UMass Extension
A look at pesticide regulations, particularly in context for Massachusetts, and a quick overview of the major modes of action, classification and chemical families of pesticides, common formulations and precautions specific to their chemical nature, how to properly review a pesticide label, SDS sheets (MSDS), and protective gear. If time permits, a quick review of Massachusetts pesticide applicator licensing and the process of applying for and maintaining your license.  
12:45 PM Principles of Weed Science
Randy Prostak, UMass Extension
General principles of weed science and weed identification strategies.
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
9:00 AM Basic Plant Pathology
Nick Brazee, UMass Extension
A discussion of the microbiology of plant disease-causing bacteria and fungi along with references to a few of the many beneficial microbes. Also, a description of the conditions necessary for disease infection and an overview of infectious disease management strategies.
12:45 PM Turf Establishment
Jason Lanier, UMass Extension
Factors essential for successful establishment of turf including soil preparation, seed and sod selection, installation and care.
Thursday, November 15, 2018
9:00 AM Turfgrass Nutrition
Mary Owen, UMass Extension
The fundamentals of turfgrass nutrition and the role of nutrients in turf management. Develop an understanding of macro- and micro-nutrients, how they are absorbed/utilized by turfgrass.
12:45 AM Developing a Fertility Program for Turf
Mary Owen, UMass Extension
Discussion will focus on the variables in a fertility program – rate, timing, frequency, and fertilizer characteristics – and how they can be used to develop an effective program for particular uses and settings. Organic fertility programs will be included.
Monday, November 19, 2018
9:00 AM Turf Weed Management
Randy Prostak, UMass Extension
Control strategies for turf weeds including prevention, cultural practices, non-chemical/organic methods and herbicides.
12:45 PM Turf Cultural Practices I
Mary Owen, UMass Extension
Cultural practices are the foundation of an integrated management system and are crucial to the successful implementation of sustainable, low input and organic management. Mowing, aeration, thatching, proper timing, and other practices will be discussed.
Thursday, November 29, 2018 (this day optional for Section B)
9:00 AM Turf Management in the Landscape
Mary Owen, UMass Extension
Turfgrass selection, key cultural practices, and IPM for landscape and residential turf. This discussion is pertinent to all types of management systems including organic.
12:45 PM Turf Management in the Landscape, continued...
Monday, December 3, 2018
9:00 AM Turf Cultural Practices II
Mary Owen, UMass Extension
Continued from November 19.
12:45 PM Biology and Ecology of Turf Insects
Pat Vittum, University of Massachusetts
Biology and identification of turfgrass damaging insects; integrated pest management, including setting tolerance levels; current status of biological control strategies; and ways to minimize reliance on insecticides.
Thursday, December 6, 2018
9:00 AM Horticultural Calculations
Mary Owen, UMass Extension
A review of calculations commonly used in landscape management necessary for efficient purchase and use of fertilizers and other materials.
12:45 PM Diseases of Turfgrasses
Angela Madeiras, UMass Extension
The biology and identification of the common turf diseases; management strategies stressing Best Management Practices (BMP) and Integrated Pest Management (IPM); low-input lawns and ecological landscaping as these pertain to disease management; biorational and biological disease control materials.
Monday, December 10, 2018
9:00 AM Deer Ticks: One Bite Can Change Your Life
Larry Dapsis, Entomologist, Cape Cod Cooperative Extension
Lyme Disease is the most prevalent infectious disease in Massachusetts and is now considered to be a public health crisis. In addition to Lyme, deer ticks can carry the pathogens which cause Babesiosis, Anaplasmosis, Relapsing Fever and Powassan virus, all of which can be very serious. This program will review the basic life cycle and ecology of deer ticks, incidence rates and distribution of tick-borne illnesses in addition to a database under development on infection rates of ticks. A three point protection plan will be presented:  Protect Yourself, Protect Your Yard and Protect your Pet. 
12:45 PM Turf Cultural Practices III & Irrigation
Mary Owen, UMass Extension
Continued from December 3.
Thursday, December 13, 2018
9:00 AM Environmental Turf Management
Mary Owen, UMass Extension
This session pulls together the information learned throughout the course, focusing on managing turf as an enhancement to our environment in a systematic and deliberate manner. How to minimize and eliminate potential for adverse environmental impacts.
12:45 PM Landscape Project Site Management and Manipulation
Mike Davidsohn, University of Massachusetts
Landscape projects require contractors to manage many activities. Protecting plants, controlling erosion and soil compaction are just some of these activities. This presentation will examine these and other site management and manipulation activities that contractors need to understand for successful project installation.

For registration instructions and general program information, go to the Green School main page.