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Glossary of Golf Turfgrass Terms (G-L)

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germination - Initial growth in which a seed or spore sprouts. The growth in a seed, plant bud, or joint.

grain - As applied to putting greens, the tendency for grass leaves and runners to make horizontal growth in one direction, which interferes with the true natural roll of the ball. With today's low mowing heights and improved maintenance practices, the effect of grain is rarely observed on highly maintained putting greens.

grooming - In putting green maintenance, the practice of lifting leaf and stem growth of grasses prior to mowing with a specialized grooming attachment affixed ahead of the cutting reel.

ground covers - Plants used to provide a vegetative cover, not necessarily turf.

gypsum - A material containing calcium sulfate used to treat sodic and saline-sodic soils. Gypsum flocculates soil particles that have been dispersed by the presence of high soil sodium or sodium added by a poor quality irrigation source. Gypsum also can be used to supply calcium as a plant nutrient.


heaving - A swelling or rising of the surface; the freezing and thawing action of frost which sometimes dislodges the crown of a plant, leaving it partially or fully exposed above the soil surface.

herbaceous - Refers to non-woody plants.

herbicide - A chemical used to kill weeds or herbaceous growth.

humus - A dark, well decomposed material formed from plant or animal decay in or on the soil.

hydrated lime - Calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH) 2 ). The product resulting from the addition of water to burnt lime (CaO). Also called slaked lime. When used to lime soils, hydrated lime acts more quickly than ground limestone, but can cause leaf burn if not applied carefully.

hydroseeding - A high pressure spray technique for applying seed, mulch, and fertilizer in a water slurry over a seedbed.


improved strains - Cultivars or varieties of grasses, achieved through selection or breeding, that have characteristics more desirable or superior to the common types.

infiltrate - To filter into; the penetration of water into soils.

infiltration rate - The speed at which water moves into a soil or HTMLContent zone mixture. Frequently confused with Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity (SHC) - a laboratory procedure used to measure the speed at which water moves through the pores of the soil.

inorganic fertilizer - Plant nutrient materials derived from mineral sources or which are synthesized chemically. As contrasted to fertilizer materials derived from organic sources.

insecticide - A chemical used to control insects.

intermediate layer - The layer of fine gravel found between the gravel drainage blanket and the HTMLContent zone mixture in a USGA green. This layer serves to prevent migration of the HTMLContent zone mixture into the gravel drainage blanket. It sometimes is inaccurately referred to as the "choker layer."

internode - The portion of a stem between the nodes or joints.

ions - Many water-soluble materials which, when dissolved in water, split apart into electrically charged atoms or groups of atoms called ions. The ions with a negative charge are called anions and those with a positive charge are cations.


leaching - Downward movement in soil of soluble nutrients or other ions past the HTMLContentzone. Removal of accumulated soil salts resulting from irrigation with a saline water source.

lip - The greenside bunker edge that is two to four inches above the sand level, and prevents a player from putting out of the bunker.

lime - Materials containing calcium and magnesium used to neutralize soil acidity and to supply calcium and magnesium as plant nutrients. Aids in soil flocculation; decreases soluble iron, aluminum, and manganese, and aids decomposition of organic matter in acid soils. Lime materials include limestone, shell, marl, and slag.

liquid fertilizer - Plant nutrients applied in solution.

localized dry spot - A dry area of sod and soil which repels water. Caused by various factors such as excessive thatch or fungal organisms.