Our Top Recommended Books on Turf Management

Looking to expand your turf management knowledge? We’ve read dozens of educational turf management books, and these are our current favourites. 

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Table of Contents

📚 Best Books on Turf Management

These are our top recommended books on turf management:

4.5/5
4.5/5

Best For: Comprehensive reference on aspects of turf grass management

Fundamentals of Turfgrass Management is one of the most popular turf management educational volumes available today. It’s been a staple of grounds and greenkeeping education for decades – the latest edition is now the fifth to be released – and is described as being an “authority on all aspects of the science and practices behind world-class turfgrass care”. 

The book covers a whole range of topics including soil testing, nutrition, cultivation, growth, treatments, professional lawn care programs for different-season grasses, weed management, light influence, and more. The book features illustrations and charts to make for easier reading and break up the text (of which there is a lot!).

Whether you’re working towards a degree or just want to improve your expertise at work, Fundamentals of Turfgrass Management should help you get there.

Best For: Sports turf science

The Turfgrass Science and Management fifth edition is an illustrated hardback that provides in-depth explanations of the science behind soil properties and plant growth, to both aspiring and practicing turfgrass managers.  

You’ll find practical advice on how to establish, evaluate, and maintain green spaces, including athletic fields, golf courses, and landscaped lawns.

The guide also covers careers opportunities, effective business management practices, and more. 

Best For: Turf management & design

Sports Turf and Amenity Grassland Management is packed with valuable information on soils and turfgrass science in turf design, production, and management.

This book provides a thorough discussion of turf management across all sporting situations, including soccer/football and rugby grounds, golf courses and bowling greens, tennis courts, cricket grounds, and horse racing tracks. You can also find helpful information on warm-season turfgrass and amenity grass. 

If you’re currently taking a course in turf science, amenity horticulture, or sports turf management, or you just want to brush up on your knowledge, you should find what you’re looking for here.

Best For: Turfgrass physiology

For students and professionals interested in the physiological needs of turfgrass plants, we recommend Turfgrass Physiology and Ecology: Advanced Management Principles. 

The book is authored by Dr. Greg Bell, Professor of Turfgrass Science at Oklahoma State University, and provides a detailed, informative insight into specific turf management practices and how to adjust them based on plants’ requirements.

Dr. Bell discusses the best practices and methods to deal with turf stress under normal and challenging environmental conditions, covering both scientific and practical aspects of decision-making across all turfgrass sectors.

Best For: Managing turf in regions with variable climates

Turf Management in the Transition Zone is a guide to maintaining seasonal grasses in the “transition zone”: where temperatures and rainfall vary greatly. 

The book is aimed at superintendents, turf managers, and greenkeepers, providing accessible information in an easy-to-read format. 

You’ll learn the basic science of growth cycles, fertilisers, nutrients, insects and diseases specific to the transition zone, cultural practices including mowing and irrigation, and more, supported by more than 100 illustrations and tables.

Best For: Golf course management

Turf Maintenance Facility Design and Management is a handy book to have on your shelf if you’re interested in golf course management and maintenance. 

It’s not the best book on turf management in general, but it covers a lot of information that a golf course turf equipment manager should know, including techniques for safe and efficient shop operation, the most effective shop equipment for maintaining closely mown turf, and diagnostics for turf equipment. 

The book includes diagrams and photos for visual learners, and the content is supported by preventative maintenance forms and workflow/organization charts.

📚 Best Books on Lawn Management

These are our top recommended books on lawn management.

Best For: Lawn care professionals & enthusiasts

Perfect Lawns is the handbook for turf professionals and enthusiasts who want to learn about year-round lawn maintenance and avoid common lawn problems. 

The book is written by Simon Akeroyd, an experienced National Trust head gardener and author of over 30 gardening books. We found this one particularly easy to digest – it’s written for non-professionals, too, and it’s illustrated throughout, so it’s not too text-heavy. It might not teach you anything revolutionary, but it’s a great tool to have on hand if you want to troubleshoot a lawn issue or brush up on your lawn care knowledge.

Topics include all aspects of lawn design, creation, and maintenance, as well as tips for dealing with diseases, weeds, pests, and challenging weather conditions. You’ll also find information on when and how to water and feed, the best types of mowers for different lawns, and how to restore a neglected lawn.  

Best For: Seasoned turf experts who want a refresher course in all aspects of lawn management & maintenance

The Lawn Expert offers complete guidance on starting lawns from scratch and caring for established lawns, written by Dr D G Hessayon, best-selling British author and plant biologist. 

The book is getting on a bit now – it was first published in 1997 – but there’s a reason why it’s still popular today: it’s one of the most comprehensive lawn management books we’ve come across, offering a huge amount of information on every page. It’s pretty technical, so we recommend it for a more seasoned turf professional and not a complete beginner. 

Topics include tips on designing and creating a lawn, optimal lawn feeding and maintenance practices, dealing with pests and weeds, and so on. It also provides guidance on meadow creation and non-grass lawns.

Best For: People at all levels with an interest in lawn care

The For Dummies books have a reputation for providing a level of detail that you’ll struggle to find elsewhere, and Lawn Care for Dummies is no exception to this rule. It’s something of a lawncare bible for lawns across the world, aimed at people looking to start a lawn from scratch and those who have an existing lawn that needs attention. 

The book is authored by Lance Walheim and the gardening experts at the National Gardening Association, and provides a “megadose” of information on lawn care and maintenance, including tips on designing low- and high-maintenance lawns, lawn watering practices, choosing the right mower type, dealing with insects and weeds, and more. 

It’s targeted more towards homeowners with less professional lawn care knowledge. While the principles of lawn care are the same across the world, note that the terminology is American, and the grass types discussed are predominantly used in the US.

Best For: Affordable option

The Lawn Guide: The Easy Way to a Perfect Lawn

Lawn care guide books often exceed £5 at least – some are even £10-£20 or more – but The Lawn Guide: The Easy Way to a Perfect Lawn is one of the most affordable books we’ve found for the quality of information provided. 

The book was released in 2008, so admittedly, it’s not as up-to-date as some of the others we reviewed, but it mostly covers the fundamental principles that remain the same even as time passes. 

We found this book to provide a lot of hands-on advice in a very straightforward manner. It gets to the point quickly without the humor or entertainment value that you might find with other books, which might suit you best if you want a practical guidebook that you can dip in and out of for reference rather than sit and read like a novel. 

Best For: Identifying weeds

If you want to quickly identify weeds without having to turn to Google every time, we recommend A Photo Handbook of Weeds Identification and Green Grass Lawn Care for Picture Perfect Turf. Don’t let the exceedingly long title fool you – this book has a simple internal layout, with large full-colour pictures of weeds followed by a single-paragraph explanation and a sentence or two on the best treatment options. 

The book also addresses common questions you might have about feeding and weeding a lawn in general, including “How do you come up with a schedule for lawn feeding?” and “Do pre-emergent applications only apply to crabgrass?” 

Note: This book is an American publication and discusses the weeds most commonly found in the USA. 

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