Cultural Practices

Cultural practices support turfgrass density and therefore play an important role in preserving and protecting water quality. Ensuring that the turf is properly adapted, healthy, dense, and has adequate infiltration protects water quality because of the tendency of healthy turf to hold water and chemicals.

In particular, BMPs for golf course turf to preserve and protect water quality using cultural practices must be designed to sustain high turf shoot density. A dense turf reduces runoff and the negative effect of off-site movement of water and pollutants. A dense turf, however, accumulates surface organic matter that can restrict infiltration and lead to increased runoff. Maintaining the permeability of the turf surface is as important as maintaining turf density. Strategies for preventing excessive organic matter accumulation are important, but the management through dilution and cultivation of the soil is key. This practice can include modifications to improve the root zone, balance adequate infiltration as means of reducing runoff, and promote adequate retention to prevent leaching.

BMP Statements

  • Use and manage turfgrass species and varieties adapted to macro and micro climatic conditions of your location.
  • Maintain turf with high shoot density to minimize runoff and maximize infiltration.
  • Manage the surface accumulation of organic matter to maintain a permeable system that minimizes runoff and maximizes subsurface retention.