Glossary of Golf Turfgrass Terms (S)

A-C    D-F    G-L    M-O    P-R    T-W


saline soils - Soils in which there is a heavy accumulation of salts that adversely affects plant growth. Soils are categorized as saline when soluble salts reach or exceed ECe > 4.0 dSm.

saline-sodic soils - Soils with both a high salt content (ECe > 4.0 dSm -1 ) and high exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP > 15%).

salt index - Used to measure the effect of fertilizers on soil solution, and is expressed as a ratio of increase in osmotic pressure produced by a material to that produced by the same weight of sodium nitrate.

sand - See 'soil separates.'

saturated hydraulic conductivity (SHC) - A laboratory-determined value measuring the speed at which water moves through the pores of a soil or HTMLContent zone mixture. The number is expressed in inches or millimeters per hour. SHC is frequently confused with infiltration rate - a term used to describe the speed at which water can enter the soil.

Two ranges are specified in the USGA Method of Putting Green Construction: accelerated range and normal range. The accelerated range is 12 to 24 inches per hour and is typically specified in areas where poor quality water must be used, very high annual rainfall is received, or bentgrass is planted well outside it's range of adaptation. The normal range is 6 to 12 inches per hour.

scald - Turf damage occurring under conditions of excessive water, high temperatures, and intense light.

scalping - The term for removing an excessive amount of the green leaf surface, leaving a stubbly brown turf. Continued scalping will weaken or kill the turf.

seed bed - An area of soil prepared for seeding.

seed head - Inflorescence; the fruiting structure of a grass plant.

seedling - A plant grown from seed, usually refers to a young plant.

selective herbicide - One that can be applied to a mixed stand of grasses, but will selectively kill certain weeds without injuring the turfgrasses.

shelling - The process of excavating the existing HTMLContent zone of a green without disturbing the surrounding areas or grades. Shelling is used to install a new drainage system and HTMLContent zone mixture without significantly modifying the architecture of the green or the surrounds.

silt - See 'soil separates.'

slicing - A form of cultivation involving a deep, vertical-cutting action, used to open the soil as well as the turf.

smut - A disease caused by a smut fungus; or the fungus itself.

sod - Plugs, blocks, squares, or strips of turfgrass with adhering soil used for vegetative planting.

sodding - The planting of sod.

sodic soil - Soils with a high percentage of cation exchange sites occupied by sodium (> 15%). The high sodium percentage causes infiltration and permeability problems due to de-flocculation of soil particles.

sodium absorption ratio (SAR) - Used to determine whether sodium levels in water will cause soil structure to deteriorate. A ratio of calcium, magnesium, and sodium ions in irrigation water.

adjusted sodium absorption ratio (SAR adj ) - A calculated value used to predict an increased sodium hazard of an irrigation source with a high bicarbonate content. A ratio of calcium, magnesium, sodium, and bicarbonate ions in irrigation water.

soluble powder - A powdered pesticide material that dissolves completely when mixed into water.

soil analysis: chemical - The process of determining the relative amounts of nutrients in the soil available to the grass plant.

soil analysis: physical - The process of determining the percentages of sand, soil, and organic matter required for the best physical arrangement of soil separates for a mixture suitable for putting green HTMLContent zone mix.

soil modification - Alteration of soil characteristics by adding soil amendments such as sand, peat, etc.; commonly used to improve physical condition.

soil probe - A tool used to remove a one inch diameter, four to ten inch long soil core from turf areas to examine HTMLContent development, thatch depth, topsoil depth, soil arrangement, and soil moisture.

soil separates - Particles into which soil can be separated by size without regard to chemical composition, color, weight, or other properties.

soil sterilant - A chemical that renders soil free of living organisms.

soil structure - A property of soils that depends upon the arrangement of soil particles and aggregation. The soil fractions made up of small particles form aggregates that may or may not behave as more or less discrete bodies.

soil texture - The relative proportions of the various soil separates in a soil. The coarseness or fineness of the soil.

species - Classification category into which similar individuals in the plant or animal kingdom are placed. Related organisms or populations potentially capable of interbreeding.

spiking - The act of perforating turf and soil crust by use of solid tines, spikes, or blades.

spray drift - The aerial movement of small spray particles away from the target area.

sprigging - The planting of stolons (runners), rhizomes, or vegetative segments of plants in furrows or small holes.

step cut - An intermediate rough cut usually the width of a triplex machine around the fairway perimeter. Mowing heights usually range from 1" - 1.25".

sterilize - To make unproductive or render incapable of germination.

Stimpmeter ® - An implement used to measure putting green speed uniformity.

stolons - Creeping, trailing, or reclining stems or runners above ground which may produce HTMLContents and new stems and become independent plants.

stolonize - To plant surface runners or stolons.

subgrade - The soil base or foundation upon which the green is constructed. The subgrade is the first layer of the new green. Drainage lines are cut into the subgrade and the gravel layer laid over the subgrade. The subgrade is usually constructed from native soil collected somewhere on the construction site.

sulfur - A secondary plant nutrient that also is used as a soil amendment to modify pH in alkaline soils. Also used in calcareous and caliche soils (containing high lime) to convert lime into plant available calcium.

sulfur burner / sulfurous generator - Used to treat poor quality irrigation water that contains both excessive bicarbonates and a high sodium hazard. Equipment that burns sulfur at high temperatures and produces sulfurous gas that when combined with water becomes sulfuric acid. Also see acid injection.

surfactant - A surface active agent that reduces surface tension on plant materials and/or soil particles. Wetting agents are common examples.

susceptible - Lacking the inherent ability to resist. Turf may be susceptible to diseases, insect damage, weed encroachment, traffic injury, etc.

suspension - A system in which insoluble materials are dispersed in a liquid.

synergistic - The favorable action of one chemical upon another, causing an accelerated action or a greater result than the individual actions added together.

syringing - Light sprinkling of water on turf usually done during the hot part of the day to prevent wilting. The goal is to apply enough water to wet the leaves and cool the turf, not the soil.

More from the USGA