Drought in the land of 10,000 lakes

By Shane Evans

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi: AMF and their interactions with turfgrass species

By Florence Sessoms

In the first part of this series, I described what arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are and how they can benefit plants. In this post, I will discuss how AMF might benefit turfgrasses. Cool-season and warm-season grasses are both able to be infected with mycorrhizal fungi. A quick literature review showed that several benefits of AMF were observed with turfgrasses such as improved biomass, nutrient content, decrease in weed incidence and disease severity (Table 1). 

Drought tolerance of consumer-available seed mixtures

By Florence Sessoms

The presence of lawns in urban environments is sometimes viewed negatively: too many chemical inputs that result in environmental pollution. I also have observed a popular misconception about irrigation on home lawns: irrigation is compared to the Danaides’ barrel (Figure 1), a bottomless pit where water is forever added and lost.  However, lawns can provide tremendous ecosystems services such as decreased soil erosion, absorption of dust and particle pollution, reduced heat island effect, and increased mental and physical human health.