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Turfgrass publication offers latest ideas for managing turf while conserving water

Think turfgrass can beautify recreational areas - such as home lawns, golf courses and public parks - but are reluctant to plant grass seed because the turf will soak up precious water?

"Turfgrass Water Conservation - Second Edition," includes a "who's who" of turfgrass specialists offering tips and ideas on how best to grow and maintain turf while still conserving water. Bernd Leinauer, pictured in a turfgrass research plot, co-edited the book and contributed chapters on water conservation and water management technologies. (NMSU photo)

An Extension turfgrass specialist at New Mexico State University has co-edited a book that dispels that misconception. "Turfgrass Water Conservation - Second Edition" brings together experts from around the country who offer tips, ideas and information on how to manage turfgrass whether you live in a desert region or by the shoreline.

"I hope that through the information provided in this book, people realize how important turf is, or can be," said Bernd Leinauer, with NMSU's Department of Extension and Plant Sciences. "It is not just the perceived water-guzzling groundcover that has to be removed at all cost. I hope anybody who grows turf will get ideas from this book on how to irrigate efficiently, how to irrigate wisely and how to conserve as much water as possible."

The publication is filled with a variety of turf topics, from its history to development of varieties with drought resistance and heat and salinity stress tolerance.

Leinauer, along with co-editor Stephen T. Cockerham, from the University of California, Riverside, are also contributing writers in the book. Leinauer and Cockerham co-authored the chapter "Practicum: Applying the Science of Turfgrass Water Conservation." Leinauer and Robert Green, also from UCR, co-authored "Water Management Technologies."

Rossana Sallenave, an aquatic ecology specialist in NMSU's Department of Extension Animal Sciences and Natural Resources, wrote the chapter titled, "Environmental Issues Surrounding Turf-Dominated Urban Landscape."

The content of the book, published by the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, is geared toward turf managers, educators, students in turfgrass management and anybody who enjoys turf. It can also be a valuable resource for landscape architects, designers, contractors, suppliers, consultants, sod growers, administrators and those who make political decisions.

This second edition is an updated version of a 1985 publication, which came on the heels of a landmark symposium in 1983 that brought together the "who's who" of turfgrass experts from across the country. The presentations from that symposium were compiled and included in the book "Turfgrass Water Conservation," edited by Victor A. Gibeault and Cockerham.

"This book has been the bible for experts regarding turfgrass water conservation for years," Leinauer said. "I used the 1985 edition when I was in graduate school in Germany."

Leinauer said available authors of the original publication were invited to provide content for this edition, but new information is also included that reflect the changing times and advances in science, including special chapters on breeding, how turf is incorporated in the landscape, and its importance to wildlife.

Every article is peer reviewed.

Contact information is available for each of the contributing authors within the book, but Leinauer encourages people who have questions or want more information to first contact their local Extension agent.

The cost of the book is $24. Leinauer said copies are available to purchase at the Extension Plant Sciences departmental offices or through the University of California at http://anrcatalog.usdavis.edu.

For more information, contact Leinauer at 575-646-2546.