We often get questions in the plant clinic about problems with turf, and how a homeowner can get a turf diagnosis. This blog post is all about your options through UF/IFAS Extension when dealing with turf issues.
Turf Diagnosis Options
Free Turf Diagnosis Options
Many Florida Extension Centers offer free plant clinics run by Master Gardener Volunteers. You can bring your diseased plants, unidentified insects, and garden questions to these trained volunteers. Typically Master Gardeners can research and answer questions that day. In Seminole County our Master Gardener volunteers can be reached at 407-665-5550 or email@example.com.
In general turf issues will require a sample submission, as they are difficult to diagnose through pictures or over the phone. You can visit our plant clinic at 250 W. County Home Road, Monday – Friday 9am – 12 and 1pm – 4pm for one on one consultations with Master Gardener Volunteers. Turf samples should be about 12×12 and right on the transition zone of your issue, not fully dead, and not fully healthy.
If you aren’t located in Seminole County, no problem! Look up your local extension center’s number with this cool interactive map from University of Florida! The map can be found [here].
Paid Turf Diagnosis Options
Free, volunteer staffed plant clinics can be great when you need an answer and someone to walk you through control methods one on one,
but volunteers can only look at the signs and symptoms showing up on your turf to provide their answer. If you need a more solid answer, you may want to pay for a diagnosis from one of UF’s plant diagnostic labs.
$40 option: Plant Diagnostic Center. This lab in Gainesville has the space and the equipment to culture out pathogens – so they can tell you with much more certainty if you have a disease and what that disease is. They will typically respond with results within 7 business days of receiving a sample. Samples should be over night shipped if possible so they are fresh. You can read more about their services [here] and find their submission form [here] .
$75 option: Rapid Turfgrass Diagnostic Clinic. This one is usually used more by turfgrass managers who work with ball fields or golf greens. It is more expensive because generally you will get a preliminary diagnosis within 48 hours of receipt of your sample. This is an option where you also will need to overnight your grass to the lab in Gainesville. You can read more about the lab [here] and find the submission form [here].
Hopefully when you have turf problems, this makes it easier to find the turf diagnosis option that best fits your situation!
Contact the Plant Clinic
The Seminole County Master Gardener Plant Clinic is open Monday – Friday from 9am-Noon and 1pm-4pm. For more information on how to contact a Master Gardener about your gardening questions, visit our website at this [LINK].