Big difference here, too. But, most Supers that I've worked for had degrees
from major universities, in their field.
Most of the guys on the grounds crew work just that; the course itself, and
aren't really interested in horticulture. Horticulture is totally separate,
but both are still under the Superintendant. About the only time we
actually cross jobs, is if there's a large sodding project or renovation,
I'll give them a hand. And, when it comes time to cut down the ornamental
grasses strewn all over the course, they'll give me a hand (with the full
crew, including seasonal staff, this can take almost two full weeks). I
think I get the good end of that deal, heh. Of course, after this season's
severe storms (I'm near St. Louis, Mo), we've all spent the majority of our
time with the mundane task of limb and other debris removal. :/
I'm definately ready for some more stable weather.
Take about a two-inch deep plug out of your turf and examine the thatch
layer. If it's only about 1/2" thick, you'll be fine with regular, proper
mowing. My apologies if my choice of wording steered you wrong. There
really is no simple, absolute answer. There are a number of variables to be
From UC Davis
Thatch is the layer of living and dead stems, roots, stolons, and rhizomes
between the green blades of grass and the soil surface. A thin layer of
thatch (less than 1/2 inch thick) can be beneficial to the lawn because it
helps to limit weed germination, reduce water evaporation, and protect from
frost damage. However, thick thatch layers can prevent water, air, and
nutrients from penetrating the soil, causing reduced root growth and
increased potential for drought stress. Thatch also favors fungal growth and
can harbor insect pests. Some turfgrass species, such as tall fescue and
perennial ryegrass, do not produce much thatch. Other turfgrass species,
such as bermudagrass, bentgrass, and Kentucky bluegrass, have creeping
growth habits and rapidly build thick thatch layers.
Tips for preventing thatch build up
Follow proper fertilization practices; avoid excessive amounts of nitrogen.
Avoid frequent and shallow irrigation on established lawns.
Mow properly; remove clippings if too much of the grass is removed at one
time. (should never remove more than 1/3 of the length at a time)
The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns
Jeez.... Dude, I bag every 4th cut to prevent this type of argument. Also I
use the clippings in my veggie garden for the nitro. But I start in the
middle of my yard and side discharge towards outbound and get wider and
wider, blowing to the outer edge. When I get to where I am blowing the
clippings ( or leaves in the fall) past the end, I then put on the bag, and
I only have to empty the bag a few times, and I'm back inside reading the
stupid comments in here....
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