Research Field Days at the GTI

2022 Green Municipalities Field Day
Friday, August 12, 2022

Two ladies in red shirts sit at the registration table next to a sign that reads "Guelph Turfgrass Institute"

Hosted by the Turfgrass Water Conservation Alliance, the Green Municipalities Field Day showcased the latest developments in management, technology, and cultivars to help turf managers and communities anticipate and adapt to a changing world. This event featured a hybrid format discussion panel, an onsite poker run, BBQ lunch, and a networking Social Hour.  

Jack Karlin talks at the front of a room

The projects featured at this Research Field Day were:

TWCA Tall Fescue Drought Evaluation
This singles species trial includes

3 replications of 44 entries and 6 standards. Data collection runs for three years so a trial established in 2020 will collect data in 2021, 2022, and 2023. Data is collected using Digital Image Analysis (DIA) technology developed and refined by Dr D Karcher (U of AR) and K Hignight (NexGen). TWCA conducts trials in Rainout Shelters (ROSs) and in field conditions. In areas with a reasonable expectation of little to no rainfall during the summer months, TWCA uses field trials. In areas where there is a moderate to high likelihood of rainfall during the summer (such as Ontario), the TWCA uses ROSs to control environmental factors more tightly. When using ROSs for trialling, TWCA cooperators change the plastic covering on the shelter every year to ensure high light penetration into the trial. 
This 3-year trial is replicated in 10 locations

TWCA Kentucky Bluegrass Drought Evaluation (concluded):A crowd of people standing on grass. A man kneels to touch the grass This singles species trial includes 3 replications of 24 entries and 6 standards. This 2-year trial is replicated 10 times in 9 locations 

Fiesta formulation trial: 
This trial compares two formulations of a low-risk herbicide, Fiesta, for controlling broadleaf weed populations on lawn-height turfgrass. Specifically, this trial will seed dandelions into the established turf stand to evaluate early-emergent suppression of this pesky weed. 

Turf Canopy Scanner: 
Light detection and ranging (LiDAR), also known as "3D laser scanning", is a new technology that uses laser beams to create a 3-dimensional topographical map of a surface. The Turf Canopy Scanner is a device developed at the University of Guelph that uses LiDAR sensors mounted onto a rover to scan the turf as it drives. Engineering graduate
student Arthur Rosenfield will be using machine learning to create predictions for the rate of growth, fill-in, and harvestability of sod. 

Beneficial Bacteria:
Beneficial bacteria which were isolated in the lab will be applied in the field to a creeping bentgrass fairway. Endophytic (endo=inside, phyte=plant) bacteria can be found in nearly every plant on this planet, where they colonize the internal tissues of their host plant and form a beneficial relationship with their host. Previous research on corn and wheat have demonstrated increased yield and improved disease resistance. Now, this project is applying the same principals to turfgrass. Graduate student Ben McFayden is working with Dr. Manish Raizada on a project sponsored by the Ontario Turfgrass Research Foundation (OTRF) to boot nitrogen use efficiency and stimulate root growth for better water uptake.

Tents pitched on turfgrass - a man plays beanbag toss

Please be sure to keep an eye on our newsletter and communication channels (website, Twitter etc...) for updates on next year's Research Field Day. 

Proud supporting partners of 2022 GTI Research Field Day:

Turfgrass Water Conservation Alliance


Rodger Tschanz talking to a group of people

2022 Trial Garden Open House
September 10, 2022

New plants and more! The Guelph Trial Garden open house was hosted by Rodger Tschanz and Landscape Ontario. Visitors viewed new perennials and annuals that plant breeders from around the world have sent us to evaluate for growth performance in southern Ontario. 

In addition to new plant evaluations, this event included:

  • Houseplant sale and swap: Two of our student employees with a specific interest in indoor plants hosted a houseplant sale and swap. 
  • Monarch butterfly rearing: A monarch butterfly rearing specialist was on hand at the trial garden site to demonstrate her techniques and answer questions.