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Glossary

A

Absorption - The process of soaking up a liquid. In lawn care, absorption usually refers to the soil or grass root’s ability to absorb nutrients, water, or other liquid lawn care.

Acidic Soil - Soil characterized by a measurement of less than 6.5 on the pH scale. Acidic soils are also referred to as ‘sour’ soil and are usually sandier soils. This soil contains fewer nutrients than a more alkaline soil type. Acidic is common in areas with a wet climate.

Active Ingredient - In lawn care products, the active ingredient(s) cause a direct reaction. Additive chemicals in lawn care products may assist in the stimulation and absorption of active ingredients.

Aeration - The process of creating small punctures from the grass surface to the ground. Lawn aeration allows air, water, and nutrients a direct path for more resonant soil absorption.

Alkaline - Soil characterized by a measurement higher than 7.5 on the pH scale. Alkaline soil is more common in dry climates and therefore, more clay soils tend to be alkaline.

Annual Grasses - Grass plants that complete their life cycle in one year. The life cycle of these types of grasses starts as a seed, matures as a flower, and then ends back at the dormant seed stage. Annual grasses require seeding every year for regrowth.

Application - The action of applying a product. In lawn care, application usually refers to the use of a type of lawn treatment, such as fertilizer, onto grass.

B

Bahiagrass - A tropical warm-season grass found most often in southern and coastal states. Bahiagrass was first introduced in Florida as its coarse texture and preferred growing climate is suitable for hotter temperatures. 

Bermudagrass - A durable, high traffic tolerant warm-season grass. Besides residential use, Bermuda grass is often used for athletic fields, parks, pastures, and golf courses. This warm-season grass can also withstand some cooler temperatures and is beginning to adapt to more northern areas.  

Biodegradable - Organic matter or synthetic material that is capable of decomposing naturally. In lawn care, the byproduct of organic matter is recycled and redistributed to provide nutrients to plants and grass. An example of biodegradable product use for lawn care is organic fertilizer.

Blades - Blades are the linear leaves of grass. Grass blades trap and preserve moisture and move it down through grass stalks to grassroots. Grass blade size and appearance may vary, depending on the grass type.

 

C

Cation Exchange Capacity - Cation exchange capacity (CAC) measures a soil's ability to hold onto exchangeable cations, which are ions that hold onto organic, nutrient-rich matter. 

Centipede grass - A course, thick grass that grows lower to the ground, with creeping varieties. Centipede grass is heat tolerant and is commonly grown in warm-season areas, like the Southwest.

Clay soil - A type of soil with fine, tightly compacted sand particles. The compact nature and texture of clay soil create a slow-moving environment for water and air. Clay soil tends to dry out quickly, even though it may be retaining water.  

Clover - Clover is a drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plant becoming increasingly common to replace traditional grass lawns. Clover is revered for its low maintenance and affordability in comparison to grass.

Compaction - Compacted soil has particles closely packed together with little air. The nature of compacted soil does not allow for air and water to flow through and is a low grass growth environment. The process of aeration can work to release compacted soil.  

Cool-season grasses - Grass types that thrive in cooler conditions can withstand colder winter temperatures. Some examples of cool-season grasses include Kentucky bluegrass and fescue grasses.

Creeping grass - A grass type that spreads horizontally instead of with upward growth. Some common types of creeping grasses include bentgrass, Buffalo grass, and fescue grasses. Creeping grasses are hardy and are used in turfs that need to withstand substantial foot traffic, like golf courses.

Crusting - The result of dried, malnourished soil; the soil particles' size can contribute to its likelihood to crust. If particles are tightly compacted and unable to allow water, air, and nutrients to flow through the soil to plant roots freely, it will crust.

 

D

Dandelions - A common grass weed commonly found as a yellow flower or a fluffy, round white tuft. Like other weeds, dandelions can quickly seed, spread, and take resources such as water and nutrients away from grasses.

Dirt - Soil that has become dried, dusted, and depleted of nutrients and minerals. Plants and grass cannot grow in dirt and must be planted with enriched soil and adequate water, sunlight, and air.

Dormant grass - Grass that is not growing for some time. Most cool-season grasses become dormant during the winter months. Dormant grass may become brown or look dead but will regrow with the right temperature and change of lawn care habits such as water, fertilizer, or grass weed control

Drought - The period plants experience without rain or watering. Drought-tolerant grasses and plants thrive without much water and are suitable for dryer areas that receive less rain.

Dry grass - Under-watered or malnourished lawns can result in dry grass. Some signs of dry grass include yellow or brown patchy spots on your lawn. Dry grass is a sign of a deeper lawn issue that, if uncorrected, can result in dead grass.