Research Tools – Dr. Patton Lab

Research Tools

I am always looking for efficient ways to conduct research and collect new data. Occasionally, my team will help develop a new method, process, or tool that is helpful for other turf researchers. This page serves as a repository for this information.


Rapidly quantifying turf height

Turf researchers often use rulers to measure growth or harvest grass clippings to measure yield. Using a rising plate concept and integrating new technology, the Turf Height Tester was developed and constructed from low-cost materials (total cost <$175). The Turf Height Tester can rapidly and accurately measure turf canopy height (>2 cm) and estimate clipping yield in turf field experiments while measuring turf height with more precision, less variability, and faster data collection than other measurement devices. Turf researchers will save time and energy using the Turf Height Tester to effectively estimate turfgrass biomass metrics, including growth and growth rate compared to measuring clipping yield.

Details are available at:


Quantifying dandelion blooms

Digital image analysis provides researchers a method to accurately and efficiently analyze turfgrass parameters including cover, color, disease severity, and more. We developed a macro (set of macroinstructions) within the open-source software ImageJ that is able to count the number and quantify the percent coverage of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale F.H. Wigg.) blooms in field plot images, which allows for collection of objective data on broadleaf weeds. 

The macro and instructions are available at: 


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