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Lawn Care &

Golf Course
Instructional Materials

Preface Unit 3 Unit 6

Unit 1 Unit 4 Unit 7
Unit 2 Unit 5 Unit 8

© 2001 National Council for Agricultural Education.

To: Agriculture Educators
From: Bernie L. Staller

Re: Lawn, Landscape and Sports Turf Instructional Materials

I am please to enclose the Lawn, Landscape and Sports Turf Instructional materials. These materials
are made available by the National Council for Agricultural Education as a special project of the
National FFA Foundation.

To encourage sponsors to support the development of instructional packages, please write (or have
your officers write) a brief note of thanks to:

Don St. Dennis

President, The Toro Foundation
The Toro Company
8111 Lyndale Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55420-1196

Kimberly Erusha
Director of Education
United States Golf Association
PO Box 708
Far Hills, NJ 07931-0708

Donald A. Clemans
Northwest Turfgrass Association
P.O. Box 2150
Sisters, OR 97759
Syngenta (formerly Zeneca Ag Products)
Neil Strong
Director, Agriculture Relations
5330 Katrine Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60515-4095

Kerry M. Bierman
Vice President, Corporate Communications
The Scotts Company
41 South High Street, Suite 3500
Columbus, OH 43215
These educational materials were developed by the National Council
for Agricultural Education in partnership with the National
Association of Agricultural Educators as a special project of the
National FFA Foundation, Inc.

Co-Project Directors
Dr. Haibo Liu
Dr. James Martin

Dr. Haibo Liu
Dr. James Martin
Ms. Joan Martin
Mr. Cletus Mitchell
Dr. Jack Rudolph

High School Field Test Teacher

Mr. Jonnie Mathias

© Copyright 2001
By the National Council for Agricultural Education
The National Council for Agricultural Education is a not-for-profit organization that
provides leadership, coordination and support for the continuous improvement and
diversity of agricultural education

National Council for Agricultural Education

1410 King Street, Suit 400, Alexandria, VA 22311
Phone: 800-772-0939 Fax: 703-838-5888
This project began in Kentucky in November 1999 and it was designed to provide a
teacher's guide for teaching the major subjects in the green industry. This teacher's
guide provides a unique resource for teaching courses in these fields for high schools,
vocational schools, or junior colleges.

Advisory Committee
To begin the process of designing this guide, an advisory committee was formed. The
objectives of the advisors were to guide the writers concerning proper content and
format with updated knowledge in these fields. The advisors were from the green
industry, high schools, colleges, and universities. The advisors also served as scientific
reviewers of this project. These advisors were:

Mr. Ron Biondo

Facilitating Coordinator in Agricultural Education
6438 Joliet Road
Countryside, IL 60525

Ms. Lynn Campbell

National FFA Foundation, Regional Director
6060 FFA Drive
P. O. Box 68960
Indianapolis, IN 46268-0999

Mr. Donald A. Clemans

CGCS, C. P. Ag
Northern Turfgrass Association
P. O. Box 2150
Sisters, OR 97759

Dr. Van Cline

The Toro Company
8111 Lyndale Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55420-1196

Dr. David Coffey

Department of Agriculture
Western Kentucky University
1 Big Red Way
Bowling Green, KY 42101

Mr. Ray Davies, CGCS

Crystal Springs Golf Course
Burlingame, CA

Mr. Tom Delaney
1000 Johnson Ferry Road, NE, Suite C-135
Marietta, GA 30068-2112

Dr. Jim Ethridge

Professor, Horticultural and Agricultural Sciences
Department Chairman, Joliet Junior College
Joliet Junior College
1215 Houbolt Road
Joliet, IL 60431

Mr. Mike Gillispie

Peoria High School
7730 N. 83rd AV
Glendale, AZ 85303

Mr. Bill Hoopes

Director, Training & Development, Regulatory Affairs
Scotts Lawn Service
14111 Scotts Lawn Road
Marysville, OH 43041

Ms. Ronda Kurka

Kentwood High School
28605 194th Av SE
Kent , WA 98042

Mr. Randy Miller

Department of Agriculture
Iota High School
P.O. Box 980
Iota, LA 70543-0980

Mr. Chris Morgan

Department of Agriscience
Marcus High School
5707 Morriss Road
Flower Mound, TX 75028

Mr. L. John Neyhart

Monmouth County Vocational School District
Monmouth County Career Center
1000 Kozloski Road
Freebold, NJ 07728

Dr. David C. Ross,
National Accounts Mgr.
Zeneca Professional Products (Sygenta)
1800 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19850

Mr. Don St. Dennis

President, The Toro Foundation
8111 Lyndale Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55420-1196

Project Funding and Management

This special project of the National Council for Agricultural Education is managed by
Dr. Rosco Vaughn, the Executive Director and Melissa A. Lewis, Former Director of
The Council's Special Projects, Dr. David Coffey, Agricultural Education Professor,
Department of Agriculture, Western Kentucky University, and Mark Leitman, Director
of The Council's Special Projects.

Co-Project Directors and Writers

This instructional materials project was conceived and directed by Dr. Haibo Liu and
Dr. James Martin, Department of Agriculture, Western Kentucky University. These
materials were written by Dr. Haibo Liu, Dr. James Martin, Ms. Joan Martin, Mr.
Cletus Mitchell, and Dr. Jack Rudolph.

Dr. Haibo Liu is an Associate Professor of turfgrass science and management. He has
taught courses in turfgrass management and golf course management and computer
application course at Western Kentucky University since 1996. He has been involved
in numerous scientific research projects and publications in the turf area.

Dr. James Martin is a Professor in the same department and has taught horticultural
and landscape maintenance courses for the last 23 years. In 1998, Dr. Martin was
honored as the outstanding teacher in the Ogden College of Science, Technology, and
Health at Western Kentucky University. Dr. Martin has conducted numerous research
projects and authored publications in the horticultural and environmental areas.

Ms. Joan Martin is the Assistant Director of the Center for Mathematics, Science and
Environmental Education at Western Kentucky University. Ms. Martin has more than
15 years experience directing, coordinating and implementing numerous grant-funded
projects. She designed and produced educational materials for Grades K-16 and for
handicapped and disabled students in Vocational Education. Recent publications
include Man and the Biosphere: Protecting, Conserving, and Using Our Natural
Resources for middle and high school teachers; A Teacher's Guide to Biodiversity for
middle school teachers; and the training manual Utility Management 101 for managers
of rural water systems.

Mr. Cletus Mitchell is a retired faculty member from the Department of Agriculture,
Western Kentucky University. He has taught agricultural mechanics for 30 years.

Dr. Jack Rudolph, an Associate Professor in the Department of Agriculture, Western

Kentucky University, has taught agricultural education courses and laboratory

courses in agricultural mechanics for 22 years, the last 13 at the university level. He
has been involved in many research and educational projects and has numerous
publications in agricultural education and agricultural mechanics.

High School Field Test Teacher

Mr. Jonnie Mathias, Henderson County High School, Henderson, Kentucky , a high
school turfgrass teacher, an FFA Advisor and a business owner. He has been in the
agricultural education field for 26 years teaching in Virginia and Kentucky. As the
Grounds Coordinator for Landscaping and Turfgrass with the school system, Mr.
Mathias has been given the opportunity to use the athletic complexes, fourteen
elementary schools, school board office, and two junior highs as a huge outdoor
laboratory in turf education at the high school level.

Special Reviewers
Mrs. Janet Chamberlin, Retired High School Teacher, Bowling Green High School,
Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Dr. Ron Eckard, English Professor, English Department, Western Kentucky University,
Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Special Thanks
Dr. David Coffey for leading and organizing three advisory committee meetings and the
"Train-the Trainer" workshop with his time and effort to this project.
Mr. Mike Gillispie for hosting the Third Advisory Committee Meeting at Peoria High
School, Glendale, TX.
Mr. Tim Closs and Mr. Chris Morgan for hosting the "Train-the-Trainer" workshop and
providing the facilities at Naaman Forest High School, Garlend, TX.
GCSAA (Golf Course Superintendents Association of America) for facilitating the
"Train-the-Trainer" workshop during their 2001 annual conference at Dallas.
The representatives in the "Train-the-Trainer" workshop at Dallas for their
participation and input to this guide.
The following Advisors for lecturing during the "Train-the-Trainer" workshop:
Dr. Jim Ethridge
Mr. Mike Gillispie
Ms. Ronda Kurka
Mr. John Mathias
Mr. Randy Miller
Mr. Chris Morgan
Mr. John Neyhart.
Whitney Elmore, a M.S. candidate in turfgrass science at Western Kentucky University
for her lecturing during the workshop and reviewing of the guide.
Aaron Mathews, a M.S. candidate in turfgrass science at Western Kentucky University
for his reviewing of the guide.
Our students for their support and understanding during the year of writing.
Western Kentucky University for providing the facilities and support for this project.


The Green Industry is one of the fastest growing and most rewarding fields in
which to build a career. The Green Industry today employs hundreds of
thousands of professionals. These turf care and landscape professionals are
charged with an awesome responsibility of keeping our environment healthy
while meeting the needs of their clients: keeping golf courses in top shape,
giving the homeowners a perfect, weed–free green carpet, providing beautiful
gardens, irrigating, fertilizing and controlling pe sts–all without harming the
Technology and research have provided the tools necessary to make our green
world a beautiful and healthy place to live. Thus, it is not surprising that people
in the Green Industry use these tools to protect our environment and
understand the related science and technology it takes to achieve their goals.
Some of these tools, techniques, and benefits are outlined in this document.
Lawns have a long history of being recognized as beneficial. Whether the turf is
used for relaxing during a game of golf, lounging in the backyard, playing a
spirited football game, the turf industry fulfills an internal need in all of us to
surround ourselves with beauty. The vast variety of grasses and landscape
plants protects our soils from erosion while enhancing the beauty of our
environment with their grace, charm, and excitement. Turf and ornamentals
provide the perfect picture frame for any landscape.
Aside from fulfilling our aesthetic needs, turfgrass areas provide other
important benefits, including the cooling of our air by as much as 7 degrees F
and our turf surfaces 10-14 degrees F. Turfgrasses provide oxygen to the air,
absorb pollutants from the air, reduce undesirable noise levels by 20%-30%,
help to condition our soils, and provide a very effective filter for water. Many golf
courses, large parks, and housing developments collect, filter (with grass), and
recycle their own irrigation and storm water, preventing any contamination in
local streams, rivers, and lakes. Golf course managers, and professionals in the
Green Industry as a whole, utilize responsible methods of applying products to
the turf. Their careful attention to detail is helping to keep our beneficial insects
and wildlife safe.
As the population of an area increases, the demand for safe wildlife habitat also
increases. Golf courses in the United States protect two million-plus acres of
land from being turned into impervious surfaces. This new (different) habitat is
used by many of our native animal species. People and animals continue to
coexist in a common environment!
This instructional material is designed to give insight into specific areas of the
Green Industry. Materials focus on environmental issues, turfgrass
maintenance, lawn care and production, sports turf, irrigation, turf equipment,
turfgrass management, plant science, and public relations. The information in
this manual is by no means conclusive; yet, it contains beneficial information
for teachers of high school and junior college students. It is designed to be used
as a teachers guide to practical, “hands-on” experiences in the Green Industry.

These materials also suggest opportunities for you and your students to become
involved with the Green Industry. Through guest speakers and site visits, you
will have an opportunity to expose your students to industry professionals and
vice versa. A positive relationship with a lawn care business owner, a turfgrass
manager, or a golf course superintendent is priceless; so keep it professional.
The outline below will help with some small but very important details while
working with turf industry professionals.

Keep It Professional, Please

1. Always give plenty of lead time when scheduling a visit to a turfgrass site.
2. Call and confirm numbers and time with the person in charge 2-3 days
before the visit.
3. Never cancel.
4. Instruct your students on appropriate behavior and consequences.
5. Have the students and teacher design a question list for the speaker before
you go. Make sure each person is assigned a question.
6. Write a thank-you note to the speaker, superintendent, or tour guide within
4 days of the visit.
7. Be willing to reciprocate; let the industry come see your site sometime.

Ronda Kurka
Member, Writing Team Advisory Committee, Kentwood HS, 25800 164th AV, SE
Covington, WA 98042

A Teacher’s Guide to the Green Industry

The Table of Content

UNIT I Fundamentals
Unit I Introduction
Section A Plant Science and Soils
Lesson 1 Leaves, Stems, Buds, and Roots
Lesson 2 Flowers, Beauty, and Purpose
Lesson 3 The Food Chain Starts Here
Lesson 4 Plant Power: Energy and Water
Lesson 5 Perpetuating the Species
Lesson 6 What Makes Plants Do What They Do
Lesson 7 Plant Can’t Live Without It!
Lesson 8 Some Like It Hot
Lesson 9 Getting Down and Dirty
Lesson 10 Water Is Critical

Section B Principles of Pest Management

Lesson 11 Read the Label
Lesson 12 Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Best Turfgrass Management
(BTM) for Turf

Unit II Environmental Issues

Unit II Introduction
Section A Wildlife Management
Lesson 1 Getting Down to Basics
Lesson 2 The Wild Ones
Lesson 3 In Search of Wildlife
Lesson 4 Taking Stock
Lesson 5 Getting to Know You
Lesson 6 Making A Home

Section B Water Management

Lesson 7 More Precious Than Gold
Lesson 8 Watersheds
Lesson 9 What About Ours?
Lesson 10 Waste Not, Want Not
Lesson 11 How Much Is Enough?

Section C Waste Management

Lesson 12 What Goes Around Comes Around
Lesson 13 Making The Most of It
Lesson 14 The Great Percolation Race

UNIT III Landscape Basics
Unit III Introduction
Lesson 1 Looking for Clues
Lesson 2 More Clues
Lesson 3 Keys to Unlock the Mystery
Lesson 4 Asset or Liability?
Lesson 5 Right Plant, Right Place
Lesson 6 Seeds and Change
Lesson 7 New Plants from Old
Lesson 8 The Propagator’s Friend
Lesson 9 Fuel for Plant Growth
Lesson 10 Biological Competitors
Lesson 11 What is Ailing This Plant?
Lesson 12 Giving Plants a Helping Hand

UNIT IV Lawn Care and Turf Production

Unit IV Introduction
Section A Career Opportunities
Lesson 1 The Lawn Care and Turfgrass Industries
Lesson 2 Job Opportunities in the Turf and Lawn Care Industry
Lesson 3 Related Job Opportunities in the Turf and Lawn Care Industry

Section B Turfgrasses and Lawns

Lesson 4 Basic Turfgrass Morphology
Lesson 5 Turfgrass Growth and the Environment
Lesson 6 Warm-Season Turfgrasses and Southern Lawns
Lesson 7 Cool-Season Turfgrasses and Northern Lawns
Lesson 8 Transition Lawns

Section C Basic Lawn Care Practices

Lesson 9 Lawn Establishment and Renovation
Lesson 10 Mowing Lawns
Lesson 11 Fertilizing Lawns
Lesson 12 Watering Lawns
Lesson 13 Managing Soil Compaction and Thatch Build up

Section D Lawn Pest Control

Lesson 14 Lawn Weeds and Controls
Lesson 15 Lawn Diseases and Controls
Lesson 16 Lawn Insect Pests and Controls

Section E Turf Production

Lesson 17 Sod Production
Lesson 18 Turf Seed Production

UNIT V Golf Course Management
Unit V Introduction
Section A Career Opportunities
Lesson 1 The Golf Course Industry
Lesson 2 Career Opportunities in Golf Course Management
Lesson 3 Related Job Opportunities in Golf Course Management

Section B Golf Course Maintenance

Lesson 4 Parts of A Golf Course
Lesson 5 Mowing Golf Course
Lesson 6 Fertilizing Golf Courses
Lesson 7 Irrigating Golf Courses
Lesson 8 Cultivation and Additional Practices on Golf Courses

Section C Golf Course Pest Control

Lesson 9 Diseases and Controls
Lesson 10 Weeds and Controls
Lesson 11 Insect Pests and Controls
Lesson 12 IPM Programs and the Environment

UNIT VI Sports Turf and Turf Irrigation

Unit VI Introduction
Section A Sports Turf
Lesson 1 Career Opportunities in the Sports Turf Industry
Lesson 2 Types of Sports Field and Management
Lesson 3 Turfgrasses Used for Sports Fields

Section B Turf Irrigation

Lesson 4 Are You on the Level?
Lesson 5 Be There and Be Square
Lesson 6 So, You Wanna Play Ball
Lesson 7 Cover It - Like the Dew Covers Dixie (Completely)
Lesson 8 Into Every Life, A Little Rain Must Fall (If You Want It to Live)
Lesson 9 Drawing Conclusions
Lesson 10 Dousing for Dollars
Lesson 11 Captain, I Don’t Have the Power
Lesson 12 Let Flow, Let It Flow, Let It Flow
Lesson 13 Take Control
Lesson 14 Bring in the Replacements

Unit VII Equipment and Maintenance

Unit VII Introduction
Lesson 1 Small Gasoline Engines Used for Turf
Lesson 2 Diesel Engines Used for Turf
Lesson 3 Reel Type Mowers Used for Turf

Lesson 4 Rotary Mowers Used for Turf
Lesson 5 Boom Sprayers
Lesson 6 Hey, Would You Hand Me That _______?
Lesson 7 Start Your Engines

Unit VIII Human Resources and Financial Management

Unit VIII Introduction
Lesson 1 Human Resources Management
Lesson 2 Motivating Employees
Lesson 3 Financial Management
Lesson 4 A Successful Interview