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Site Assessment

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Determine and record site conditions, including areas of environmental sensitivity, as well as current and past problems and potential for future problems.

Conduct a detailed assessment of each site to be managed.

  • Accurate site specifications are indispensable for planning with relation to management practices, materials applications, and renovation or reconstruction.
  • Problem areas that impact turf health directly affect the potential loss of turf quality and function and increase the likelihood of pest infestations.

Points to consider in a thorough site assessment include:

  • map or photo record of the site
  • square footage of turf area(s) being managed
  • drainage patterns
  • as-built drawings/maps of drainage and irrigation systems
  • determination of functional condition and adequacy of drainage and irrigation systems
  • the age, condition, and species composition of the turf (including cultivars if known)
  • the physical condition, texture, and variation of soils on the site
  • a current soil pH and nutrient analysis
  • the fertility history and a summary of the current fertility program
  • a pest history and current or potential problems

Identify and record permanent features of each site in relation to management of the turf.

  • Permanent features on or in close proximity to the site should be assessed from two perspectives:
  1. How turf function and quality might be impacted by these features.
  2. How these features might be impacted by turf management practices.

The following are important items and structures that might be included:

  • trees, shrubs, gardens and other landscape plantings.
  • driveways and walkways
  • parking lots and roadways
  • drainage features
  • buildings
  • temporary structures
  • monuments or grave markers
  • playgrounds and/or daycare facilities
  • decorative ponds
  • significant abutters that have potential for impact
  • Changes to this record should be made as they occur.

Devote particular attention to the identification of areas of environmental sensitivity.

  • Similar to above, areas of environmental sensitivity on or in close proximity to the site should be assessed from two perspectives:
  1. How turf function and quality might be impacted by these areas.
  2. How these areas might be impacted by turf management practices.

The following are key areas that should be included:

  • wetland protection resource areas
  • wells on property
  • wells in proximity to property
  • Zone I & II areas
  • surface water features
  • high water table areas
  • catch basins
  • exposed bedrock
  • other environmentally sensitive areas

Determine and record agronomic problems in key locations and consider potential solutions.

  • The recognition of agronomic problems is the first step in developing a solution.

Problems to note include but are not limited to the following:

  • inappropriate turfgrass species or cultivars
  • poor fertility
  • undesirable soil type or condition
  • excessive thatch
  • excessive traffic stress
  • compaction
  • animal/pet damage
  • poor drainage
  • shade
  • localized dry spots
  • poor air circulation
  • tree root influence
  • shallow soil or bedrock
  • areas prone to damage from snow removal or de-icing salt application