We are all anticipating the arrival of winter so we can finally slow down and recover from a long, difficult growing season. However, as the days grow shorter it is important to prepare your turfgrass in its natural efforts to harden off prior to another cold winter season. Plants naturally develop a tolerance to cold temperatures, serving as defense against freezing and winter damage.
Turf plants develop hardiness by storing carbohydrates in cells of the crown and root tissues. Higher levels of carbohydrates and potassium increase solute concentrations and act as antifreeze which prevents ice crystals from forming within the cells. Cell walls and membranes undergo changes that improve their ability to tolerate ice crystals while moisture content in the plant tissues decrease during the hardening process. Proper fertility practices can improve carbohydrate reserves and K uptake, resulting in more efficient hardening off process.
Fall granular potassium applications go a long way toward increasing winter hardiness. However, two or three applications of Foliar Pak 1-0-15 and L-18 Activator timed appropriately prior to turf halting growth for winter will go a long way towards improving turf health. The complexing properties of Foliar Pak fertility maximize uptake of K even during cooler temperatures ensuring elevated plant K levels for improved cell solute concentration. Key amino acids from L-18 Activator provide the organic solutes necessary for maintaining proper cell water relations as well. This powerful combination of L-amino acids and K will also improve carbohydrate reserves important for late winter survival and stronger spring recovery.
As an added benefit, tank mixing this combo with systemic snow mold controls will improve fungicide performance too! So put your turf to bed properly this winter with Foliar Pak.