July 15, 2015 at 1:58 pm

Each year presents its own unique weather challenges. So far in 2015, many are dealing with excessive rainfall. Not only do the constant storms limit our opportunities to play golf and enjoy other outdoor hobbies, but, the weather is beginning to have a negative impact on turfgrass. Extended periods of anaerobic soil conditions are resulting in loss of root mass and reduced carbohydrate reserves. Adding to the problem, frequent heavy rains prompt rapid leaf growth and result in missed mowing opportunities. This usually leads to removal of excessive leaf tissue when mowing does occur. Then, the plant must spend extra carbohydrates to regenerate the necessary leaf tissue.  We must also consider the fact that the constant flushing rains are depleting the soil bank of nutrients, which are normally available to the turf.  Given all these circumstances, I want to offer some fertility strategies, which can help increase rooting, carbohydrate reserves and plant vigor for the rest of the growing season.

  • Take soil tests soon. The nutrient composition of the soil can change drastically after significant rainfall or irrigation use.  Be sure to perform soluble paste extract tests, especially if you are growing on sand-based soil medium.  This will give you an accurate gauge of the current plant available nutrient supply.
  • Low dose / more frequent foliar nutrient applications ensure turfgrass with limited root mass uses a greater percentage of applied nutrients.  Consistent Foliar-Pak applications will provide better results and a greater value than granular applications.
  • Take full advantage of amino acids, seaweed extracts,  humic acids and other carbon sources to improve plant functioning, optimize photosynthesis, improve rooting, enhance uptake and generally give the plant every advantage possible.  Build your foliar program around 14-2-4 and Promote, add in the Foliar Pak nutrients that a soil paste extract test indicate are needed, and you’ve created a fully balanced nutrient/ biostimulant program.
  • When the going gets tough, lean on L-18 Activator.  It will give the plant the extra edge to build proteins, battle stress and conserve carbohydrates.  It will also improve uptake of control products helping your turf battle dollar spot, brown patch, anthracnose and other pathogens.
  • Address Potassium.  With all of the heavy rains it is likely that K has been depleted. 1-0-15 should be included in your foliar rotation. MKS Turbo is a great way to fortify your soil with K, Mg and S.  It is easier to apply and much more efficiently absorbed by the plant than traditional granular applications of these nutrients.
  • Any time the weather is conducive to growing roots, consider making a couple extra Foliar-Pak sprays to maximize root growth: Consider utilizing the 5-16-4 Ca/P and Bio Sea combination.This combo will provide the nutrients and biostimulant package necessary to push rooting and ensure cell wall strength.
  • We are currently dealing with some very succulent leaf tissue. Foliar-Pak CSi supplies foliar silicon that will increase cell wall strength and plant turgidity. Stronger cells help decrease disease incidence. More upright growth can help increase green speed and smoothness.

I hope these ideas lead you to better turf health regardless of the type of weather you’ve experienced.  Consult your local ATS representative or visit Foliarpak.com for more information on our products.

Curt Geron
Guest Blogger
Director of Sales, EnP Investments, LLC