GreenCast in UK and Ireland - Balanced nutrition avoids turf stress
Lewis Blois of Everris advocates that relieving stress on turf plants is key to Integrated Turf Management plans, which will help maintain more consistent playing surfaces.
Speaking at the 'Playing Consistent - Staying Consistent' seminar at the John O'Gaunt Golf Club event in Bedfordshire on Thursday 29 March, Mr Blois urged greenkeepers to have soils regularly sampled for their nutrient status and to tailor fertilizer applications accordingly. "The aim is to provide a consistent and even supply of nutrients that matches plant growth and demand. Improving efficiency, with more of the nutrients taken up and utilised by the plants, minimises leaching, run-off, lock-up and waste."
Avoiding peaks and troughs in nutrient availability with a balanced slow release of nutrients also encourages healthier turf plants, which are more able to withstand stress, wear or disease and will maintain better playing surfaces, he added.
"With a better planned approach we can optimise the timing and quantity of inputs and management practices to reduce stress on the turf. That can enhance turf quality, minimise potential impact on the environment, and cut costs for the club."
Mr Blois (above) reported results of Everris trials where a SierraformGT slow release fertilizer programme resulted in a 27% reduction in disease infection, compared to just 8% reduction with a conventional fertilizer programme. Furthermore, when a wetting agent was also added to further reduce stress on the plants, the disease reduction was over 46% better than untreated.
With nitrogen (N) inputs this spring, Mr Blois urged greenkeepers to look at levels of nutrient availability over the course of the application period, rather than the N content per se. "Although at 22% N SierraformGT slow release fertilizer may initially appear high, the combination of immediately available AS, followed by the slower release of Urea and then three further releases of Methylene Urea N, means that nutrient is consistently available to the plant over the duration of the application that will optimise uptake and utilisation.
"There may be less immediate N availability than a higher dose of a typical 8% N conventional product, which in practice could be more susceptible to environmental loss and waste," he added.
The 'Playing Consistent - Staying Consistent' seminar series was held at golf courses across the UK from 26 - 30 March, attracting greenkeepers, turf managers, agronomists and students to hear some of the latest developments and see the techniques in practice.
Click on the following links for further seminar reports: