“If you don’t have your blades sharpened correctly that’s going to cause injury to your grass and a disease to come up,” said UGA research technician James Hudson.
Hudson was one of many UGA professionals, including researchers and extension specialists who hosted the field day.
From the looks of the parking lots, many of the more than 700-plus people who preregistered and the handful who just showed up were landscape professionals. Several colleges, universities and 4-H groups even came in small buses. A large number of homeowners also attended.
“Everybody wants a better turf,” Hudson said.
David Holmes, an Albany, Ga., golf course superintendent, says one of the primary reasons he attends is the certification and continuing education credits.
“Everybody who puts pesticide out professionally has to have a license,” Holmes said. “It’s mandatory for the state of Georgia to have 10 hours every five years.”
Shortly after arriving at the field day, Holmes says he learned that a plant growth regulator named Legacy is now out.
“Every time you come, you learn something new,” he said. “When you do something the same way all the time, it’s good to get out and see what other people are doing, to learn new things and innovative ways on how to manage your own turf, how to manage your business. Everybody does things a little bit different. If you stay in your own house all the time you never see what’s going on in the outside world.”
Throughout the morning, groups moved from one red-flagged section of the campus’s large Ellis Road field to another as experts discussed the various types of grass that were exhibited. In one section there was a golf course fairway. Beside it was a golf course green and a short distance away was even a rugby field.
When the group sessions ended, time was allotted for participants to get one-on-one answers to their questions.
Clayton County master gardener Kathy Watson said she’s been attending for years and will continue to do so.
“It’s just wonderful. I just love it,” she said. “All the experts are here to ask.”
According to UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Georgia has more than 1.6 million acres that are maintained as turfgrass sites. The state also has approximately 800,000 acres of home lawns, with the average homeowner spending about $400 a year to maintain his or her lawn.