Summertime signals the inevitable need to manage heat stress in turf, especially if you’re managing cool season turf.
Under severe heat stress, turf is more vulnerable to fungal diseases, traffic and wear tolerance, mechanical injury and insect damage. If you aren’t careful, your overall turf quality can plummet.
Experienced turf managers may vent their playing surfaces with solid tines on their aerification equipment, Air2G2 machines to force oxygen down into the soil, and a multitude of wetting agents to manage soil moisture content. Another standard approach is hand watering to cool the playing surface during the day. These are all beneficial practices during high heat.
When it comes to plant physiology, there’s the one nutrient that regulates stomatal conductance and transpiration during the day – potassium.
Here’s why that’s important when it comes to heat stress.
Maintaining adequate levels of potassium is critical during times of high heat, as it regulates stomates opening and closing.
When the sun comes up and the dew burns off, stomates open, that’s what primes the pump of water and nutrients coming out of the soil, into the root system and moving up into the plant cells in the leaf. In turn, the loss of water in the form of water vapor is triggered through the stomates to cool the plant.
Plants that lack adequate levels of K lose optimal stomatal conductance and reduce the plant’s ability to cool itself. Evaporative cooling brings down the temperature of the leaves, which is critical to maximize the plant’s genetic potential during high heat.
Redox TurfRx™ K+ is a significant ally in this seasonal battle. It gives you more than just complexed and chelated sources of potassium and phosphorus. Superior plant utilization, Polyphenol production reduces stress, Complexing and chelation creates the Redox advantage.
The chemistry of TurfRx™ K+ is differentiated by specific mineral chemistry and bioactive carbon compounds, which increase the production of phenolic compounds – a specific type of antioxidant, that’s important for secondary metabolic pathway production. This is critical for the plant’s ability to regulate solute movement and gas exchange during high temperature extremes.
We have a lot of summer left, with many more days of high heat. The steps you take now to protect your turf will pay dividends well into the future.