The nights are getting longer and the temperatures will begin moderating. Now is the time to begin promoting turf recovery.

Granular fertilizer applications should begin as soon as temperatures moderate. If you have recent soil test results, refer to them when purchasing fertilizer. If you haven’t had soil tests done in a few years, it may be a good time to do them. Late summer applications should be a high-quality, slow-release nitrogen source. You’ll want this application to feed through fall when late fall fertilizer applications are made.

Typically 1 pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet for tees, fairways and roughs is adequate, although monthly ¾ pound applications may be necessary if the turf has thinned significantly. Monthly ½ pound per 1000 square feet of nitrogen for putting greens is usually adequate to increase density, without promoting excessive growth. Adding Foliar-Pak Micros Plus, Foliar-Pak Bio Sea and Colonise Bio to your spray program will help speed recovery.

Core Aeration
We all understand the importance of core aeration to turf recovery; however, aeration often gets pushed back into late fall because golfers hate playing on newly aerified greens. In my travels over the past several weeks, I’ve seen many greens, tees and fairways that would benefit from this practice. Filling the holes as much as possible with topdressing will prevent the holes from collapsing and extend the benefits through the fall. Working a little seed into the topdressing in thin areas certainly won’t hurt.

We are in the ideal time for seeding in the Midwest. Seeding in this time period will allow the new turf to become well established before it hardens off for winter. Small areas on fairways and roughs will fill in with aggressive fertilization. Larger areas should be seeded if they don’t look like they will recover. Don’t let Poa annua get a head start on you! Remember to use a starter fertilizer to help with establishment. ATS stocks a large variety of high-quality turf seed.

It’s important to continue your normal turf practices through the rest of the growing season. As the conditions for many fungal diseases fade with cooler temperatures, dollar spot becomes reenergized. It likes the cool nighttime temperatures and heavy dew typical for late summer.

Steve Honeycutt
ATS Sales Representative