260 pages, Illus, tabs
Turf culture has been regarded traditionally as either an art or a craft; an art for those with "green fingers", or a craft for those willing to acquire practical skills through disciplined training. A unique feature of this book is the way in which turf culture is presented as a science. A general theory of soil development is used to rationalize the practical tasks of creating and managing the wide range of grassed areas used for different games. This theory is based on recent research into the divergent trends initiated in soil development according to whether earthworms are present or absent. The same approach is now likely to find application in land use and soil rehabilitation generally. Part One is concerned with general principles. It explores the extent to which games differ in their requirements and how these various requirements can be met by growing grass in natural, modified or specially constructed soils. Drainage design and choice of materials are first fully explored theoretically but this then leads on to a relatively simple, cost effective approach to design, based on careful choice of a limited range of precisely defined but readily available materials. In Part Two, the general principles are applied to specific examples of modern constructions, described in detail sufficient to form the basis of actual specifications. The examples cover the construction and maintenance of grass pitches suitable for vigorous winter games such as rugby and soccer where, on balance, earthworm activity within the soil is to be encouraged. These are contrasted with constructions for golf and bowls where people have to compensate for the lack of earthworms because the nature of the game precludes their activities on the fine turf surfaces required. Hockey and cricket are treated as games somewhat intermediate in this respect. Though the main objective throughout the book is to help with the provision of reliable grass surfaces, one chapter in Part Two is devoted to hard porous pitches. Construction of these non-grass pitches can draw on many of the same scientific principles explored in the context of grass. If well designed, they can usefully complement grass in a low cost, playing field complex. The Appendices provide practical details of methods used to select soils, sands and gravels which conform to the specifications laid down in Part One. Also included is a section which describes the mathematical basis upon which the various formulae used to arrive at design details affecting drainage have been derived.
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