An excellent graph presents a complex topic in a way that is easy to grasp and apply. A graph of turfgrass growth potential is a perfect example. It makes the concept easy to understand and has more applications in turf management than one might imagine. This update will review the concept of growth potential and describe several examples of how growth potential graphs found their way into recent conversations during USGA Course Consulting Service visits.
Growth Potential – What is it?
Growth potential is a concept that was developed by Pace Turf to express the relative growth rate of turfgrass at a given temperature. According to this model, the maximum growth rate of cool-season turf occurs at 67.5 degrees Fahrenheit and the maximum growth rate of warm-season turf occurs at 88 degrees Fahrenheit. Turfgrass with a growth potential of more than 50 percent is considered to be in the growing season.
Growth Potential Graphs – Aren’t these graphs just stating the obvious?
We all know turfgrass growth accelerates quickly from winter to spring, but can we visualize the historical patterns and understand how growth potential changes from month to month in the spring? We can learn this by spending just a few minutes studying the growth potential curves. The insights gained can be applied to common golf course management decisions.