December 2017

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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www.spor 14 // December 2017 M owing remains one of the most fundamental and energy- intensive cultural practices in maintaining turf. Even with adequate moisture, fertility, and pest control, incorrect mowing can be detrimental to plant growth, function, and persistence. Mowing is a plant stress, even when done correctly: it removes green tissue, thereby reducing the plant's ability to undergo photosynthesis and produce energy. Furthermore, mowing too low or too often can reduce turf rooting. To prevent the stresses of mowing too often or not often enough, it is recommended to mow frequently enough as to not remove more than one-third of the leaf blade in a single mowing, which is known as the "one-third rule." Turfgrass selection Turfgrass selection is an important consideration when attempting to reduce mowing requirements. This is especially true when mowing frequency is based on growth rate, as it is with the one-third rule. Regrowth following mowing also impacts the mowing frequency of turf as the faster plants are able to regrow, the more often they Selecting turfgrasses and mowing practices to mow less // By QUINCY LAW AND AARON PATTON, PHD Signed mowing treatments from Purdue's Turf and Landscape Field Day. Editor's note: Full "Materials and Methods" information and Reference List are available at

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