In reviewing the traffic from last week’s blog, we have recorded hits from around the globe, over 20 countries! It occurred to me that a blog discussing and defining common “Green” terms may help us understand our common and differing points of view.
The first term I would like to define is “sustainability”. Probably the best and most neutral definition as found in Elisa’s Green Scene web site:
“[Sustainability is] actions and products that meet current needs without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet theirs. Sustainability is a broad term and often refers to the desire to provide the best outcomes for the human and natural environments both now and into the indefinite future.”Given that definition, how would you define sustainable turfgrass management?
A good example of a "sustainable" turfgrass management practice is the recycling of turfgrass clippings. A typical 100 square meters of turfgrass can generate more than 300 pounds of grass clippings annually. This is more than 6 tons per acre each year! Included in the grass clippings are significant quantities of stored or latent water, fertilizer, labor and fuel. If clippings are not reused or recycled all those resources are wasted. A sustainable turf management program implements “grass-cycling” by composting clippings on site to be reused later, or immediately return clippings to the turf canopy. The later practice of returning clippings to the turf surface or canopy can reduce fertilizer requirements by as much as 50% annually with no increase to thatch or soil organic matter.
The second term I would like to define is “IPM”. North Dakota state university defines IPM as:
“a sustainable approach to managing pests by combining biological, cultural, physical and chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, health, and environmental risks."In terms of turfgrass management IPM, I would widen the definition to include: determining and staying true to damage and/or pest thresholds, scouting and pesticide reductions plans.
This broader definition of IPM requires explanation of a few sub-terms:
- Damage and/or pest thresholds - the quantity of damage or number of pests required before a pesticide is applied or a corrective action is implemented.
- Scouting is the practice of 1) identifying areas where pest outbreaks occur first, indicator areas; 2) regularly monitoring these areas and 3) determining the appropriate level of action considering predetermined thresholds.
Oh, in case you cannot find the definition of “Repurpose”, I offer the following definition: To reuse something with inherent value for a different purpose than originally intended. A repurposed item has inherent character and style… with that definition in mind; we will all be repurposed one day!