HORT*4450 Advanced Turfgrass Science

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The following description is for the course offering in Winter 2017 and is subject to change. It is provided for information only. The course outline distributed to the class at the beginning of the semester describes the course content and delivery, and defines the methods and criteria to be used in establishing the final grades for the course.

This course builds on basic principles learned in Introduction to Turfgrass Science with an emphasis on plant stressors and physiological responses of plants to stress. Interactions between the soil system, the plant and the environment are considered, with focus on how soil physical, chemical and biological properties as well as environmental factors affect turfgrass plant health and physiology. Principles and strategies of biological control, cultural practices that affect plant health, pest life cycles and pest population levels are addressed in order to develop integrated management plans for turf aimed at reducing pest levels in an environmentally benign manner.


Teaching Assistant:

Karen Francisco

Credit Weight:


Course Level:

  • Undergraduate

Academic Department (or campus):

Department of Plant Agriculture



Semester Offering:

  • Winter

Class Schedule and Location:

Please refer to Web Advisor for class schedule and location.

Learning outcomes:

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:
  1. By the end of this course, you should be able to:
  2. Explain plant physiological responses to abiotic and biotic stressors
  3. Display an understanding of the role of the soil system in turfgrass growth and culture
  4. Be able to recognize common turfgrass problems based on plant response and incorporation of environmental factors
  5. llustrate a thorough understanding of plant disease epidemiology, including infection cycles and predictive modeling
  6. Explain how plant growth, pest and pathogen invasion and host plant response to pest presence is affected by irrigation, fertility cultivation and pesticide use
    1. Display an understanding of the principles of integrated pest management with emphasis on the following:
    2. Biological control – life cycles, competitive ability, favoring natural predators Developing thresholds for pest invasion based on damage potential and environmental conditions
    3. IPM plan implementation based on understanding of the turfgrass system and its interactions with the environment
  7. Be able to interpret current scientific literature regarding host response to stressors, pest invasion and adaptation and integrated management of pests through biological and cultural control practices

Lecture Content:

Topics to be covered in lectures include:
  • Introduction to IPM
  • Review of weeds, insects and diseases
  • Abiotic stressors
  • Nematodes and epidemiology
  • IPM of weeds, insects and diseases
  • Developing technologies and IPM plan implementation
  • Winterizing turf
  • Southern grasses 

Topics for both lectures and labs may change as the semester progresses.

Labs & Seminars:
Topics to be covered in labs include:
  • Math review
  • Build-a-green
  • Insect ID review
  • Turf species and weed ID review
  • Nematodes and nematode extractions
  • Fungicide lab
  • Diagnostic case study
  • Water movement in soil
  • IPM project presentations

Course Assignments and Tests:

Assignment or Test Contribution to Final Mark Learning Outcomes Assessed
1, 2, 3, 4, 5
1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Final exam 20% 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Build-a-green lab 15% 1,2,5
Fungicide lab 5% 4, 5
Diagnostic lab 2.5% 1, 6
Water movement lab 2.5% 2
Research proposal 7% 6, 7
IPM project 10% 2, 3, 5, 6
Additional Notes:

Quizzes will be given during the first 10 minutes of class either in lab or Wednesday in lecture. Specific dates will be announced the week before each quiz. The best 8 of 10 quizzes will be counted toward the quiz grade.

Friday lectures will be used to discuss current literature on alternative pest management practices in turfgrasses and will also be to help with preparation of the research proposal.

Final examination:

Please refer to Web Advisor for exam schedule and location.

Course Resources:

Required Texts:

There are no required texts for this course

Recommended Texts:

OMAFRA Publication 845: Integrated Pest Management for Turf

Lab Manual:

There are no manuals for the lab

Other Resources:

Lectures presented in PowerPoint as well as quiz keys and additional material can all be found on CourseLink.

Field Trips:


Course Policies:

Grading Policies:

All work is expected on the date due.  Late work will be accepted up to five days late with a 10% grade reduction per business day. If any exams must be missed for professional development, religious or personal reasons, arrangements must be made with the instructor BEFORE the scheduled date of the exam.  Any exams missed due to emergencies or illness may be made up only if appropriate documentation is provided. Any quizzes that are to be missed due to previous commitments or registration with SAS can be taken at an alternative time, as long as arrangements are made with the instructor BEFORE each quiz date. Any quizzes missed as a result of a documented illness can be made up with approval of the instructor. 

Course Policy on Group Work:

Most of the labs will be done in groups; however, the reports that are handed in are to be individual work based on group data.

The two exceptions are the Build-a-green lab and the IPM projects. Both of these are group projects where one report is submitted as a group effort. However, in order to ensure that each member is involved, you will be asked to grade your group members on their involvement as part of the assignment. Each individual group member’s grade will be based on the group grade as well as the results of the assessments from other group members. The assessment sheet can be found on CourseLink.

Course Policy regarding use of electronic devices and recording of lectures:

Electronic recording of classes is expressly forbidden without consent of the instructor. When recordings are permitted they are solely for the use of the authorized student and may not be reproduced, or transmitted to others, without the express written consent of the instructor.

Other Course Information:

University Policies

Academic Consideration

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The Academic Misconduct Policy is detailed in the University Calenders:


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