Dr. Patton Lab


The turfgrass industry is comprised of athletic fields, golf courses, grounds, lawns, sod farms, and roadsides. Across the US, turfgrass covers ~40 million acres. As urban areas push outwards into rural areas and suburbs are developed, lawns, parks, athletic fields, and other green spaces are added. Challenges to the turf industry are many and include a need to increase sustainability (water, nutrients, labor, fuel, etc.), manage pests (biology, ecology, resistance, invasive, etc.), and develop new technologies (cultivars, devices, data science, etc.).

Dr. Patton's research program is designed to address current and potential future challenges facing the turfgrass industry. The goal is to plan, implement, and lead projects that reduce inputs and environmental risks while improving turf quality and health. Dr. Patton’s research currently focuses on two key areas:

Weed Biology, Ecology, Resistance and Management. Enhancing Management of Common, Troublesome, and Invasive Weeds in Turf. Objective: First, determine strategies for optimizing weed control while simultaneously reducing inputs through discovering methods to enhance herbicide performance. By enhancing weed control, fewer herbicide applications will be necessary. A system approach to understanding the biology and ecology of individual weed species is needed to create effective control programs. Second, study the biology of resistant weeds and discover the mechanisms of herbicide resistance and identify alternative control approaches for stakeholders.

Advancing of Low-Input Turfgrasses and Management Strategies. Three research areas are ongoing within this strategy.

Focus 1: Evaluation and Improvement of Zoysiagrass (Zoysia spp.) Germplasm Adapted to the Midwest. Objective: Identify novel zoysiagrass germplasm adapted for use in the Midwest and determine the physiological basis for enhanced winter hardiness.

Focus 2: Improving the Development, Establishment, Management, and Production of Low-input Turfgrasses Adapted to the Midwest. Objectives: This work supports farm diversification through the expansion and adoption of low-input, sustainable sod varieties by growers and consumers through research and the development of comprehensive education resources (agronomic, economic, and marketing) for sod farm businesses. Dr. Patton works with a team of researchers to identify barriers that are preventing stakeholders from using fine fescues and find innovative solutions to these barriers.

Focus 3: Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Sequestration in Urban Grasslands (Turf). Objectives: 1) quantify the extent of C and N stored in grassed areas as affected by plant species, management and stand age, and 2) examine the unique facets of grass management (mowing and plant species) that may exert control over C and N flux in these systems.


2021 Turfgrass Weed Control for Professionals now available. 16 states and 19 collaborators. @RUturfweeds co-editor. Full-color ID of 118 weeds. Updated with new products and research-based information. Order print ($20) or pdf ($12) at https://mdc.itap.purdue.edu/item.asp?item_number=Turf-100


HOT OFF THE VIRTUAL PRESS: My 1st journal article with the @UMNTurf team! This @crop_science research will help plant breeders develop new weed suppressive fine fescue cultivars! 🧬⛳️ Thanks @FlorenceSessoms for leading. #openaccess @OpenAcademics https://acsess.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/csc2.20506

Quick update on zoysiagrass for golf course roughs funded by @USGA on pg. 85 of this month's @GCM_Magazine
@PurdueTurfDoc @NCTurfBreeding @EsdrasCarbajal @ugatiftonturf

Let’s all work hard to help the turfgrass researchers as the pandemic set them back as well. I’m glad to be back into the @GCSAA Rounds 4 Research program to help support the @TurfFoundation and the @BoilermakerTurf program. 2 rounds getting mailed this week!

I can’t believe the news I got today that @turfbear74 passed away this morning. 47 and much too young. What a friend he was to me and many others of us. Will deeply miss you my bald brother. Please keep his 4 daughters in your thoughts and prayers tonight.

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Dr. Patton Lab - Horticulture & Landscape Architecture, 625 Agriculture Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907

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