Turfgrass Management Terms B

Bacteria - large, widely distributed group of typically one-celled microorganisms, chiefly parasitic or saprophytic. Some bacteria are disease producing; many are active in processes such as the conversion of dead organic matter into soluble food for plants and the fixing of atmospheric nitrogen

Bahiagrass - perennial, warm-season grass species is native to South America. Used extensively for agriculture, erosion and conservation programs, it is used as a lawn grass in areas of the Deep South, Gulf Coast and Southern California due to its tolerance for heat and drought. It likes full sunlight and low pH soils and spreads by short, stout, above-ground stems known as stolons. Easily recognizable when allowed to flower, it produces slender spikelets topped by V-shaped racemes

Balanced fertilizer – fertilizer containing equal percentages by weight of three important nutrients — nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) — with or without additional nutrients. Example: 10-10-10

Ball mark - depression and/or a tear in the putting green surface made by the impact of a golf ball

Bench setting - height at which the bedknife is set above a firm, level surface. This is generally the accepted measure for determining cutting height. See cutting height

Bentgrass - tolerant of cold weather, extremely fine-bladed leaves creates carpet-like areas on golf greens in cool-season climates, but it is also sold as seed or sod for lawns. It spreads by above-ground runners (stolons). The three most common types are creeping, velvet and colonial, with creeping bent the most widely used for lawns and putting greens. Bentgrasses are even in demand in the South, but it is difficult and costly to maintain them in warm climates

Bermudagrass - leading grass for Southern lawns, Bermudagrass is a tropical native that requires full sunlight and well-drained soil. It has the fastest growth rate of any common warm-season lawn grass and spreads by both rhizomes and stolons. It is valued for outstanding tolerance to heat, drought, salt and humidity

Biennial – term applied to plants that normally take two years to complete their natural life cycle. The first year, it starts from seed and grows leaves only. The second year, it grows larger and flowers, sets seed, and then dies. Biennials often establish a cycle of self-sowing that gives the illusion of longer life

Biological control - control of turfgrass pests by the use of living organisms

Biorational - Pest controls vary in their environmental impact and toxicity to people and other organisms. “Biorational” pesticides are those controls that are relatively non-toxic to humans and have low ecological risk beyond their intended target pest. Biorationals include plant-derived pesticides, such as neem oil, as well as bacteria-derived pesticides such as Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)

Blade - the part of the leaf above the sheath

Blend - combination of two or more varieties of the same grass species

Blight – plant disease that creates brown, circular patches in the lawn and may lead to sudden wilting or death of leaves, flowers, stems or entire plants; if left untreated, it will grow to affect large areas of grass. Controlling this unsightly condition requires that you irrigate properly and apply controls. The most common blight of golf course turfs is Pythium

Bluegrass (Kentucky) (KBG) - vigorous, dense-growing, cool-season grass introduced to the United States by early European settlers. Praised for its rich green color, KBG thrives in full sun. It’s often mixed with more shade-tolerant grass types to bring superior color and texture to seed mixes for lawns with sun and shade

Bract - a reduced leaf structure, includes the floret structures of glumes, lemma, and palea

Bristle - a stiff, slender appendage

Broadcast spreader - broadcast or rotary spreader applies fertilizer, pesticide or seed in an imprecise, fanlike pattern over a broad area. In contrast, a drop spreader drops the substance straight down instead of scattering it, resulting in a precise application over a smaller area

Broadleaved - any of the dicotyledonous plants that grow in a turfgrass stand (e.g., dandelion, plantain, clover, chickweed, knotweed, etc)

Brown patch - common summer lawn disease caused by the fungus Rhizoctonia solani. It is treated with fungicide, but best prevented by good lawn management practices 

Brushing - practice of lifting excessive leaf and stem growth off grasses before mowing. Usually accomplished with brushes affixed to mowers ahead of the cutting reel

Buffalograss - warm-season, cold-hardy grass is native to North American prairies and savannahs. Named for the buffalo that once fed on it, it has become popular as a low-maintenance, natural lawn grass. Buffalograss naturally grows around 6 inches tall. It spreads by above-ground stems known as stolons. Male and female flowers typically, but not always, occur on separate plants

Bunching grasses (Bunchgrass) - grass without stolons or rhizomes; growth habit of forming a bunch or grow in clumps and spread by vertical shoots known as tillers, which grow from the crown of the plant. Unlike aggressive creeping grasses, they rarely have thatch problems. Common bunching lawn grasses include tall fescue and perennial ryegrass


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