Plant Sciences


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Turfgrass Management

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Deying Li, Sports and Urban Turfgrass Management
Office: Loftsgard Hall 474B
Phone: (701) 231-8037

Turf Research 1

The turf industry in North Dakota is very important to the quality of life of the citizens of the state. Research activities in the Sports and Urban Turfgrass Management group help the growth of the turf industry and provide solutions to local problems. Besides a low budget for most of the turf areas, turfgrass management in the Upper Midwest faces abiotic stresses such as salinity, cold, and drought.

The practice of establishing and maintaining quality turfgrass with minimum resources and energy, so called low maintenance turf, requires a best management approach.  Studies include testing species/cultivars under a low maintenance regime, exploring nontraditional species in the Great Plains, and maximizing the effects return of budget spent on the practices such as irrigation, mowing, fertilization, root zone properties, tissue and soil analysis, and integrated pest control.  These studies will continue to generate holistic management guidelines for this region.

Soil salinity and sodicity is a frequent issue in the northern Great Plains due to the semiarid environment.  The evaluation of salinity tolerance allows us to make recommendations of species, cultivars, and optimum ratios of species/cultivars in mixture for use in different salt affected areas.  The study also allows for the development of early diagnostics of salinity stress caused by different salts and recommendations for fertilization (type, rate, frequency, and methods), irrigation, mowing, and other management practices for maximum turfgrass quality under salinity stress. The study in salt stress physiology has resulted in the development of methodology to screen large amounts of individual plants very quickly for breeding purposes.  Furthermore, the exploration of using grasses to remediate soil contamination from drill cuttings, which have high contents of salts and hydrocarbons, is of great economic impact to the oil-rich state.

In the area of cold tolerance study of turfgrass species, there is continued effort in evaluating different species and cultivars under different management conditions.  Studies include investigating the mechanisms of cold tolerance and illustrating the relationship between different water conserving traits (morphological and physiological) and winter hardiness in cool-season turfgrass species, snow molds control, and effects of winter management practices on turfgrass quality.

Turf Research 2

Turf Research 4

Turf Research 3

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