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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: Green School in 2020 will be held virtually; having a computer or other device with reliable internet is a must.

Choose either October 22nd, 4-5 pm, or October 23rd, 10-11 am

  Live Zoom

Orientation and Technical Check-in Day
Technical trouble-shooting plus an overview on note taking, preparing for exams, general operating procedures, credit for certification programs and Mass. pesticide license, instructor evaluations and certificate requirements.

Monday, October 26, 2020
9:00-10:00 AM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

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.

10:15-11:15 AM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

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, October 29, 2020
9:00-11:45 AM Class via Zoom

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.

12:45-1:45 PM

Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

Turfgrasses: Adaptation, Morphology, Management, and Performance
Jason Lanier UMass Extension
This introductory class will outline the space that turfgrasses occupy both ecologically and societally, as well as explore the unique form and function of turfgrass plants.  In-depth discussion on how environment, user expectations, management, and performance intersect will be featured.

Monday, November 2, 2020
9:00-11:45 AM Class via Zoom

Pesticide Licensing and Regulations
Taryn LaScola-Miner, MA Dept. of Agricultural Resources
A look at pesticide regulations, particularly in context for Massachusetts, and a review of Massachusetts pesticide applicator licensing and the process of applying for and maintaining your license. 

Pesticide Label Review and Pesticide Safety
Natalia Clifton, UMass Extension
Review of the different components of a pesticide label with a focus on the selection of personal protective equipment. 

12:45-1:45 PM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

Turfgrass Selection
Jason Lanier, UMass Extension
The turfgrasses themselves are a primary tool for meeting expectations, therefore selection decisions are among the most important that a turf manager makes. Characteristics of turfgrass species and cultivars along with criteria for selection of grasses for specific uses, growing environments, and management levels will be addressed.

Thursday, November 5, 2020
9:00-10:00 AM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

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.

12:45-3:15 PM Class via GoToWebinar

Principles of Weed Science
Randy Prostak, UMass Extension
General principles of weed science and weed identification strategies.

Monday, November 9, 2020
9:00-11:45 AM Class via GoToWebinar

Basic Plant Pathology
Angela Madeiras, 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.

12:45-1:45 PM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

Turf Establishment
Jason Lanier, UMass Extension
The goal of any establishment project is to produce dense, deeply rooted, functional turf that will provide rapid cover and develop to maturity as quickly as possible.  This class will outline factors essential for successful establishment of turf including site preparation, seed and sod considerations, installation and post-planting care.

Thursday, November 12, 2020
9:00-10:00 AM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

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.

10:15-11:15 AM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

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 16, 2020
9:00-11:45 AM Class via GoToWebinar

Turf Weed Management
Randy Prostak, UMass Extension
Control strategies for turf weeds including prevention, cultural practices, non-chemical/organic methods and herbicides.

12:45-1:45 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.

Thursday, November 19, 2020 (this day is optional for Section B)
9:00-11:45 AM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

Turf Management in the Landscape
Jason Lanier, UMass Extension
Turf is a principal component of our collective landscape, and well-managed turf has many societal and ecological benefits.  Turfgrass characteristics, selection, establishment, key cultural practices, IPM and BMPs for turf on lawns and grounds will be discussed.

Monday, November 23, 2020
9:00-10:00 AM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

Biology and Ecology of Turf Insects
Olga Kostromytska, 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.

10:15-11:15 AM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

Turf Cultural Practices I
Jason Lanier, UMass Extension
Cultural practices are the foundation of an integrated management system and are crucial to the successful implementation of sustainable, low input management.  The fundamentals of mowing, cultivation, and topdressing will be covered, as well as specific approaches for the management of common stress factors such as shade and traffic.

Thursday, December 3, 2020
9:00-10:00 AM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

Turf Cultural Practices II
Jason Lanier, UMass Extension
Continued from November 23.

10:15-11:15 AM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

Topic TBA
 

Monday, December 7, 2020
9:00-10:00 AM Class via GoToWebinar

Bee-ing More Aware About Pesticide Use
Kim Skyrm, MA Dept. of Agricultural Resources
Interest and activity in urban beekeeping has increased dramatically over the past decade with more honey bee hives managed in Massachusetts than ever before. As responsible applicators, land managers, and stewards of the environment, it is important to broaden your awareness about beekeeping and honey bee health. We’ll learn the latest updates on local and national trends in honey bee health, beekeeping in the Commonwealth, and review steps applicators can take to reduce unintended negative impacts. 

10:15-11:15 AM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

Sustainable Site Development and Management
Amanda Bayer, University of Massachusetts

Creating and maintaining a sustainable landscape requires an understanding and assessment of the site including soils, water, vegetation, and materials to be used at the site. This session will explore how to create and maintain a sustainable landscape in support of ecosystem services and the environment. 

12:45-1:45 PM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

Turf Water Relations & Water Management
Jason Lanier, UMass Extension

Water is among our most precious natural resources, and water supplies available for the irrigation of turf are increasingly limited.  This session will cover water relations both within the turfgrass plant and within the turf system, as well as management strategies designed to conserve water and protect water quality.

Thursday, December 10, 2020
9:00-10:00 AM Class via GoToWebinar

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. Tick-Borne Diseases are preventable.

10:15-11:15 AM

Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

Turf Management and the Environment
Jason Lanier, UMass Extension
With informed, attentive, and responsible management, turf areas can be a highly beneficial component of the world in which we all live.  In the absence of these tenets, management of turf areas can contribute to negative impacts on the environment and human health.  This session will tie in current research-based understanding with information learned throughout the course to emphasize managing turf as an enhancement to our environment in a systemic and deliberate manner.

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