All course information is listed within this syllabus.

TURF 425: Turfgrass Cultural Systems (3 credits). A study of turfgrass maintenance practices and how their interrelationships can be utilized to develop management systems.

Prerequisite: TURF 235


Instructor for TURF 425

Timothy Lulis
Teaching and Research Assistant

Department of Plant Science
16 Tyson Building
University Park, PA 16802

Phone (Office): 814-865-0697
E-mail: Please use Canvas Inbox for course correspondence.

If you need to contact me regarding this course use the Canvas Inbox. I will respond within 48 hours during the week, and by the end of business Monday following the weekend.

Course Overview

Turfgrass Management definition: The creation of environmental conditions that favor the competitive nature of the desired species over all others.

This course is designed to demonstrate how certain maintenance practices can be integrated in order to provide management strategies that bring about successful Turfgrass Management Systems. Though you have already learned about many maintenance practices, possibly as part of your job responsibilities, and/or throughout the curriculum in this Turfgrass Program, our focus in this course is to review the importance of each of these practices and understand how they work together to create effective management systems.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of TURF 425, students will have learned to:

  • accurately identify and know how to establish cool-season grasses from seed and/or vegetative methods
  • solve situational based word problems relevant to pesticide use in the turfgrass industry
  • develop proper fertilization programs for an array of turfgrass species
  • gain an in-depth understanding of how pesticides are taken up by plants and how differing plant growth stages affect this function
  • manage different grass species in order to manipulate plant competition
  • use of plant growth regulators in management programs
  • understand varying concepts contained in scientific research reports and be able to decipher meaningful information from a statistical analysis of data

Course Schedule

For due dates, refer to the Course Summary on the Syllabus page in Canvas.

Course Materials

Most World Campus courses require that students purchase materials (e.g., textbooks, specific software, etc.). To learn about how to order materials, please see the Course Materials page. You should check the World Campus Course Catalog approximately 3–4 weeks before the course begins for a list of required materials.


ISBN: 978-0470048450
Christians, N. E., & Agnew, M. L. (2008). The Mathematics of Turfgrass Maintenance (4th ed.). Sleeping Bear Press / Ann Arbor Press.

You may purchase course materials from Barnes & Noble College (the bookstore used by Penn State's World Campus). For pricing and ordering information, please see the Barnes & Noble College website. Materials will be available at Barnes & Noble College approximately three weeks before the course begins. Alternatively, you may obtain these texts from other favorite bookstores. Be sure you purchase the edition/publication date listed.


This course requires that you access Penn State library materials specifically reserved for this course. You can access these materials by selecting Library Resources in the Course Navigation Menu, or by accessing the Library E-Reserves Search and searching for your instructor's last name.

NOTE: Due to routine maintenance, the Libraries system (including Course Reserves) is unavailable each night from 2:00 a.m. until approximately 4:30 a.m. EST/EDT. If you are unable to access your reserves materials during this period, please try again at a different time.

  • Architect overcomes odds to build natural grass tennis complex. Sports Turf Management Magazine. Sept. 2014. pp. 28-29.
  • Developing an Integrated Turfgrass Pest Management Program. Landschoot, Peter J. PSU Ag. Coop Ext. Circ. 404.
  • Diagnosing Lawn Problems. Minner, David. Iowa State University, Dept. of Horticulture.
  • Diagnosing Turfgrass Problems, Special Circular 238. Landschoot, Peter. Penn State, 2013. 9pp.
  • Economic Analysis of Creeping Bentgrass and Annual Bluegrass Greens Maintenance. Bigelow, Cale A. and W. Tracy Tudor Jr. GCM Magazine, 2012, Oct. Digital Edition.
  • Fall Fertilization: Get the Timing Right. Anonymous, Athletic Turf News, 2009, Oct 5.
  • GDD and Poa annua Seedhead Control. Danneberger, Karl. OSU, Buckeye Turf website.
  • Going Natural. Miller, Kyle. GCM, 2009 May, pp 98-104.
  • Lawn Aerification - Who Needs It? Minner, David. Iowa State University, Extension News. Garden Column, 2007, Aug.
  • Lawn Problem Classification. Minner, David. Iowa State University, Dept. of Horticulture.
  • Maintaining School Athletic Fields on Limited Budgets. Sports Turf Management Magazine. Sept. 2014. pp. 26-27.
  • Managing winter annual weeds. Sports Turf Management Magazine. Sept. 2014. pp. 12-16.
  • Pest Treatment Windows for Sports Facilities. Fech, John C. and Gaussoin, Roch E. Sports Field Management, 2010, June.
  • Some room to breathe: aerification is key to plant health. Sports Turf Management Magazine. Sept. 2014. pp. 9-11.
  • Spray Coverage Information., TeeJet Spraying Systems Co.
  • Top 10 Broadleaf Weeds. Fech, John C. and Koch E. Sports Field Management, 2010, Oct.
  • Turfgrass Fertilization Basics. Fertilizer Chapter. Landschoot, Peter J. PSU Plant Science Factsheet, 2003, UC 184.
  • Turfgrass Identification Characteristics. Gardner, David. Ohio State University.
  • Turfgrass Management Mathematics. Sports Turf Management Magazine. Sept. 2014. pp. 20-22.
  • Turfgrass Seed and Seed Mixtures. Landschoot, Peter J. PSU Coop Ext. Circ. 391.
  • User's Guide to Spray Nozzles., TeeJet Spraying Systems Co., LHM5112, 2004.
  • Valent has Turf Covered. Anonymous, Valent Professional Products.
  • Weed Management in Turf. Landschoot, Peter J. PSU Ag Coop Ext. UC189, 2009.

You must have an active Penn State Access Account and be registered with the University Libraries in order to take full advantage of the Libraries' resources and services. Registration and services are free!

Modules, Quizzes, and Exams

Currently, all modules, quizzes, and exams are activated. Work ahead if you desire. As a student in TURF 425, we recommend that you work through the modules in this course following the sequence and timing presented in the Syllabus and/or Calendar. However, some students may elect to work faster than others. Just remember you will be working at your own pace but must complete all of the modules, quizzes, and activities before the stated deadline.

Each week, if there is a quiz/exam, there is a defined deadline to have it completed. If you do not do the quiz/exam by the deadline you will earn a zero grade for it.

All quizzes/exams will close down on Wednesday, 5:00 p.m., EST.

The quizzes/exams appear on the last page of the modules to test your understanding of the concepts presented. You may only take each quiz/exam one time. Once the quiz/exam is open, you must finish it. You will be able to review your quiz/exam results once following submission.

Please be prepared to take the quiz/exam before you open it. Timing will begin as soon as you start the quiz/exam and will not stop even if you log out or switch browsers. Quizzes and exams have varying amounts of questions and time limits; please refer to the Canvas Syllabus page. You will have a 10-minute warning before the quiz/exam closes; at which point, it will automatically close.

Grading Policy

The following table is the grading criteria for the course.

Grading Criteria
Requirement Cumulative Point Value
Quizzes 240
Exam 1 150
Exam 2 150
TOTAL: 540

The following table is the grading scheme for the course.

Grading Scheme
Letter Grade Percentage Points
A 100% – 93% 502–540
A- < 93% – 90% < 502–486
B+ < 90% – 88% < 486–475
B < 88% – 82% < 475–443
B- < 82% – 80% < 443–432
C+ < 80% – 78% < 432–421
C < 78% – 70% < 421–378
D < 70% – 60% < 378–324
F < 60% < 324

The course's final grade is determined by the total points earned by the student. The percentages listed below are for reference only.

The turnaround time for graded assignments is generally one week or less.

Bonus Points: There are none offered in this course. The instructor reserves the right to change the syllabus as needed.

Please refer to the University Grading Policy for Undergraduate Courses for additional information.

NOTE: If you are planning to graduate this semester, please communicate your intent to graduate to your instructor. This will alert your instructor to the need to submit your final grade in time to meet the published graduation deadlines. For more information about graduation policies and deadlines, please see "Graduation" under World Campus Student Resources.

Online Students Use of the Library

As Penn State World Campus students, you have access to many of the materials that the library offers to students. The library website has a lot to offer, but can be overwhelming. A guide has been created to serve as your introduction to important library resources, services, and important pages within the library. The Online Student Library Guide is updated regularly by the online librarian and is intended to provide a level of comfort through an introduction to help you feel comfortable navigating the library website to find valuable information for your coursework.

Technical Requirements

This course is offered online and it is assumed you possess the minimum system requirements and computing skills to participate effectively. A list of technical requirements is listed on World Campus' Penn State Technical Requirements page.

Minimum Skills

  • You should have an understanding of basic computer usage (creating folders/directories, switching between programs, formatting and backing up media, accessing the internet).
  • You must be able to conduct word processing tasks such as creating, editing, saving, and retrieving documents.
  • You must be able to use a web browser to open web pages, download files, and search the internet.
  • You must be able to use an e-mail program to send and receive messages and to attach and download documents/files.
  • You must be able to download and install programs or plug-ins from the internet.

Getting Help With Canvas Courses

Canvas support is available 24/7 via chat or phone.

It is in your own best interest to be as specific as you possibly can. Try to include information such as the specific course page, quiz question, etc. you were on; what you attempted to do when that failed; the exact language of any error message displayed on your screen; the date and time when your problem occurred; and any other pertinent information (does the problem happen consistently and always in the same way, etc.).

Support Services

As a student, you have access to a variety of services and resources, including advising, tutoring, library services, career services, and more. Please visit the following resources for more information:

Accessibility Information


The term "Netiquette" refers to the etiquette guidelines for electronic communications, such as e-mail and discussion postings. Netiquette covers not only rules to maintain civility in discussions but also special guidelines unique to the electronic nature of messages. Please review Virginia Shea's "The Core Rules of Netiquette" for general guidelines that should be followed when communicating in this course.

Penn State Policies

Login Policy

Students are expected to log in regularly to keep up to date with announcements, discussions, etc. The class will progress at a regular pace throughout the semester and there are specific due dates and times for assignments, etc.

Course Availability

Your course will be available to you beginning the first day of class and will remain open for one year. After one year the course will close.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest, and responsible manner. Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at The Pennsylvania State University, and all members of the University community are expected to act in accordance with this principle. Consistent with this expectation, students should act with personal integrity, respect other students' dignity, rights, and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts. Academic integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation, or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others (see Faculty Senate Policy 49-20, G-9 Procedures, and the Code of Conduct).

Please read the academic integrity guidelines for the College of Agricultural Sciences.

A lack of knowledge or understanding of the University's academic integrity policy and the types of actions it prohibits and/or requires does not excuse one from complying with the policy. Penn State and the College of Agricultural Sciences take violations of academic integrity very seriously. Faculty, alumni, staff, and fellow students expect each student to uphold the University's standards of academic integrity both inside and outside of the classroom.

Educational Equity Statement

Penn State takes great pride in fostering a diverse and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff. Acts of intolerance, discrimination, or harassment due to age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religious belief, sexual orientation, or veteran status are not tolerated and can be reported through Educational Equity on the Bias Response page.

Privacy Policies

For information about Penn State's privacy statement and what it encompasses, please read their Web Privacy Statement. Visit Penn State's FERPA Guidelines for Faculty and Staff page for information regarding its rules governing the privacy of student educational records.

Copyright Notice

All course materials students receive or to which students have online access are protected by copyright laws. Students may use course materials and make copies for their own use as needed, but unauthorized distribution and/or uploading of materials without the instructor's express permission is strictly prohibited. University Policy AD40, Recording of Classroom Activities and Note-Taking Services, addresses this issue. Students who engage in the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials may be held in violation of the University's Code of Conduct, and/or liable under federal and state laws.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Many students at Penn State face personal challenges or have psychological needs that may interfere with their academic progress, social development, or emotional well-being. The University offers a variety of confidential services to help you through difficult times, including individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, consultations, online chats, and mental health screenings. These services are provided by staff who welcome all students and embrace a philosophy respectful of clients' cultural and religious backgrounds, and sensitive to differences in race, ability, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

Accommodations for Persons With Disabilities

Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. Every Penn State campus has an office for students with disabilities. The Student Disability Resources website provides contact information for every Penn State campus. For further information, please visit the Student Disability Resources page.

In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, you must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview, and provide documentation. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus' disability services office will provide you with an accommodation letter. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. You must follow this process for every semester that you request accommodations.

Accommodations for Military Personnel

Veterans and currently serving military personnel and/or spouses with unique circumstances (e.g., upcoming deployments, drill/duty requirements, disabilities, VA appointments, etc.) are welcome and encouraged to communicate these, in advance if possible, to the instructor in the case that special arrangements need to be made.

Use of Trade Names

Where trade names are used, no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by World Campus, Outreach and Cooperative Extension, the College of Agricultural Sciences, or The Pennsylvania State University is implied.

Subject to Change Statement

Please note that this Course Syllabus is subject to change. Students are responsible for abiding by such changes.

Course Availability

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