It’s time to think about your turf’s health over the next couple months. Summertime conditions can be very stressful for turf — and for turf managers. Heat stress, drought stress, and rapid fungus growth are just a few of the issues facing turf managers this time of year. Here we will discuss a couple ways to lower the stress level for you and your turf this summer.

Reduce Your Nitrogen Input

With the heat and dryness that usually occur in July and August, heavy nitrogen loads can burn your turf. Try a “spoon-feeding” approach, applying nitrogen rates from 0.07 to 0.50 lbs of N/1000 with a slow-release nitrogen source. Depending on your turf type and other conditions, you should be able to tell what will work best for you. Here in VA, on a cool fescue lawn, I like a 50% slow release at a 0.15 to 0.25 lbs of N/1000 along with some other inputs we’ll discuss below.

Add Micros, Bios, and Amino Acids

By adding these key nutrients and reducing nitrogen inputs, you’ll achieve a greener, more vigorous lawn while reducing top growth and thatch. These nutrients provide essential elements for cell growth, root growth, and chlorophyll production, resulting in an overall healthier plant that’s able to take the stress of summer. Foliar-Pak has a great line of specific products like these to address almost any need that the turf may be facing. MicroSync, Armament, Colonise Bio LTO, and 14-2-4 are several good options. I have seen excellent results from using this grass-greening cocktail in my own yard.

Insecticides and Fungicides

Although a healthy turf can overcome most of the summer stresses, insects and fungus can still do a number on your grass in the summer. With a healthy lawn, a rotation of fungicides at a preventive rate can keep most fungus issues at bay. Preventive applications are at lower rates and help keep costs down and customers happy. Going in after the fact will result in high rates, costs, stressed turf, and unhappy customers. Insects can also do a number on your turf, so make timely insecticide applications to reduce numerous insect issues that may arise. Just make sure to rotate your insecticides and fungicides to prevent chemical resistance.

With these pointers, you’re ready to tackle summer and all of the stress it throws at you. Contact your sales representative for more suggestions and information about the products mentioned above.