You probably know how important root health is to turf. But do you know how to optimize turf health from the roots up?

Using a soil probe, you can observe how deep and dispersed the roots are. The more depth and dispersion, the healthier the roots. If your observations reveal roots that aren’t as healthy as they could be, read on. 

Here are five things that affect root health more than you may realize.

  1. Aeration provides more oxygen to the roots and makes it easier for them to grow.
  2. Deep, infrequent irrigation drives roots to grow deep in search of water.
  3. Thatch lacks the nutrients necessary for healthy root growth.
  4. Higher mowing heights stimulate roots to grow deep.
  5. Low soil pH makes it difficult for roots to grow.

In addition to cultural practices adjusting the above factors, consider using Foliar-Pak technology to support root health. Colonise Bio, in particular, has several technologies that directly and indirectly assist with rooting. It contains a specific plant extract that has a high amount of plant triterpenoid saponins, which improve soil conditions for root growth. Colonise Bio also includes biology that breaks down lignin material and improves soil structure and pore space, leading to a better environment for root growth. Further, Colonise Bio contains amino acids that the plant can use to create secondary metabolites, which directly impact rooting. Other amino acids in Colonise Bio help the plant maintain its cellular turgor pressure—even in dry conditions, high heat, and high salt situations in the soil. This helps the turf continue to function even in stressful conditions, preventing loss of root mass during severe stress events.

Another Foliar-Pak product with root health benefits is Armament P, which delivers phosphorous enhanced by Armament technology. Phosphorous is a macronutrient for a reason, as it is crucial to plant respiration. Without it, plants wouldn’t properly transfer energy via ATP (the “P” in ATP is phosphorous). Energy is important for all growth in plants, especially roots.  Coupling the phosphorous with a hefty dose of Armament ensures that the nutrient remains available for plant uptake. The plant can take up the phosphorous and put it to use metabolically before it ties up in the soil. Phosphorous is also important in the production of nucleoproteins like DNA and RNA. Lastly, phosphorous plays a role in cell membrane and cell wall construction and cell division. Without phosphorous, you don’t have new cells; without new cells, you don’t have root growth. In addition to enhancing phosphorous delivery, Armament technology brings even more benefits to root health. Armament buffers adverse reactions in the soil, feeds the microbial community of the rhizosphere, and helps with soil structure and flocculation.

These Foliar-Pak solutions and cultural practices will help your turf develop the healthiest roots possible. If you have questions about where to begin, reach out to your sales representative.