While many golf course superintendents breathe a sigh of relief when temperatures start to cool off in the fall, it can still be a busy time of year.
Depending on which region of the country you are located, you will likely aerate your golf course turf in the fall. And it is a good time to think about building up carbohydrate storage to help turfgrass survive winter months and emerge brimming with plant health in the spring.
Aeration provides many benefits for turf such as:
- alleviating soil compaction
- improving gas exchange between soil and atmosphere
- reducing thatch
- improving water and nutrient movement into the soil
North, West and Transition Zone: Fall aeration in these areas is often delayed as long as possible to promote play and revenue for the course. But this often comes at a price: very slow recovery due to cold temperatures.
South: Timely recovery from summer time aeration before the fall golf season is extremely important for a healthy recovery and promotion of new root growth.
Ultimately, aeration leads to enhanced plant health and better playing conditions for golf. However, aeration also causes stress to turf. Fortunately, there are ways to help reduce stress and promote quicker recovery.
Turf needs to build up root mass and carbohydrates in preparation for winter months. Stored in crowns, stems and roots, carbohydrates are created from photosynthesis. Needed by the plant in greater quantities through winter and coming into spring, carbohydrates are essential for healthy turf.
North, West and Transition: Cool-season turfgrasses need to build up adequate carbohydrates to maintain root growth and development in winter months, as well as recover from injury obtained from any pest, environmental stress, or mechanical damage.
Florida and South: Carbohydrate storage is important for warm-season turf because the plant uses carbohydrates that have been stored in roots, shoots and crowns to supplement its energy supply to get through the winter months and breaking dormancy in the spring.
Macro-Sorb and SMS can help!
Macro-Sorb’s products Radicular, Foliar and Minors help get plants through stressful periods like aeration recovery and winter time stresses on warm season turf. And amino acid fertilizers help plants conserve plant energy so they can maximize production of carbohydrates.
Radicular: Formulated with a proprietary amino acid complex, Macro-Sorb Radicular is designed to maximize root production in times of stress, including aeration.
Foliar: Macro-Sorb Foliar’s dual action performance delivers critical plant health benefits while enhancing uptake of tank-mixed products. Foliar supplies the plant with materials needed for making proteins, resulting in greater stress tolerance.
Quelant Minors: Quelant Minors is formulated to deliver a balanced complement of secondary nutrients and micronutrients directly to the plant foliage where it can be readily absorbed and moved to its consumption points.
Macro-Sorb Fall Recommendations
- Apply Macro-Sob Radicular 2-3 days prior to aeration, and again 5-7 days post aeration. This will improve turf recovery, enhance root mass, and provide much needed amino acids to aid in carbohydrate storage.
- Apply Macro-Sorb Foliar every 2 weeks going into winter. This will help conserve energy and aid in carbohydrate production. These amino acids also improve stress tolerance related to winter stress, such as frost.
- Apply Macro-Sorb Quelant-Minors monthly going into winter for enhanced turfgrass color. You can also use Quelant-Minors for seedling establishment; applications can be made as soon as 5 days after emergence.
- Macro-Sorb Foliar plus Quelant-Minors has shown enhanced performance and uptake of pigments applied to turfgrass prior to dormancy.
SMS Additive Solutions
Soil surfactants have been proven to aid in water management, especially in the hot dry summer months. However, soil surfactants can also provide many benefits when applied in late fall or early winter.
Surfactant applications ensure any precipitation that occurs over winter will enter the soil quickly and uniformly. They also improve surface drainage during times of thaw.
Crown hydration injury occurs when excess moisture on the surface freezes, killing the turf crowns. As temperatures begin to warm in the spring, soil surfactants aid moisture management by maximizing penetration of water and improving moisture uniformity.
SMS 700: SMS 700 is a proprietary blend of soil surfactants specially formulated to provide a flexible tool to combat soil hydrophobicity and localized dry spot (LSD). SMS 700 can be applied at a variety of rates to improve wetting of the soil.
SMS 200: This surfactant is specifically formulated to enhance the infiltration and penetration of irrigation and rainfall. SMS 200 sequesters a wide range of hard water ions, therefore augmenting infiltration.
SMS Additive Solutions Surfactant Fall Recommendations
- Apply SMS 700 to greens and tees just prior to shutting down irrigation system or toward the end of fall. Water-in application with at least 0.25 inches of irrigation.
- Apply SMS 200 to fairways just prior to shutting down your irrigation system or toward the end of fall. Water-in application with at least 0.1 inches of irrigation.