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Common Terms

Acidic Soil

If soil has a pH value of less than 7, it is deemed to be acidic.


Aeration is to improve air and water movement through the soil and reduce compaction through spiking, forking, coring or slitting.


Aerobic soil is healthy and contains air. Also, beneficial bacteria in soil are generally aerobic.

Alkaline Soil

This is soil with a pH value over 7.


Meaning ‘without oxygen’, anaerobic is a poor amount of air in turf.


This is a combination of two or more cultivars of the same species of grass.


A cultivar is a variety or race of plant that has been selected or developed because of certain characteristics and then maintained through cultivation.


Denitrification is a natural process which converts nitrate to nitrogen gas.


Desiccation is the drying of turf when exposed to hot, dry conditions or high winds.


A material containing small grains.

Hollow Tining

A hollow tining aerator takes small plugs from the turf. This allows water, air and fertilizer to reach the root zone. It also eases compaction and thatch.


Hydrophobic turf is repellent to water. This situation can happen if fungal matter breaks down, leaving a waxy coating on the soil particle and therefore making it difficult for water to reach the root zone.


Infiltration is the process by which water enters the soil.


In a plant, these are the sections of stem between nodes. Within them are the vessels carrying food, water and hormones to the nodes.


Leaching is the process where chemicals and nutrients move downwards out of the turf and root zone and is caused by water from rainfall or irrigation.


This is a biological process during which nitrifying bacteria convert toxic ammonia to nitrate which is less harmful.


Nodes are the areas on the stem of a plant where the leaves grow.


These are mineral elements essential for healthy grass plants. The three main nutrients are nitrogen, phosphate and potash.


In turf grass care a pathogen is a fungus that causes disease in a plant.


A plant that lives for more than two years. Perennial plants bloom during spring and summer and die during autumn and winter.


A rhizome is the stem of a plant, more often than not underground, which sends out roots from its nodes. If separated, rhizomes may be able to form the basis of a new plant.

Root zone

The root zone is the area of soil where the roots of the plant are contained.


A stolon is a shoot growing horizontally above ground, producing roots and shoots at the nodes.


Subsoil is the layer of soil under the topsoil and can often includes clay or sand within it.


Thatch is a woven layer of organic matter which builds up between the growing grass and soil underneath. Too much thatch can prevent air, water, fertilizers and other useful materials reaching the root zone.


Transpiration is part of the water cycle. It is the process whereby water is carried through the roots to the leaves and stems, where the water is released into the atmosphere as a vapour.

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