Plan Now to Prevent Next Season’s Headaches
As the season comes to a close, you may feel anxious to put the events of the season behind you. You may have experienced curveballs or a lot of “firsts” as turf managers, or you may have dealt with record cold, record heat, or humidity that seemed like it was never going to end. Although you would like this time to unwind, right now is the best time to evaluate this year’s problems and search for solutions to prevent them from happening next year.
Sometimes it can be a small switch in products or a different application method that can make a big difference. These changes can lead to an increase in performance to get the most effectiveness out of your efforts. Here is a guide of what to plan now to prevent next season’s headaches.
Applying Pre-Emergent Herbicides
Each spring before your summer help starts, the turf is surging with growth just in time for the application of crabgrass pre-emergent with fertilizer. Quick-release nitrogen compounds the problem of vigorous growth with excessive clumping. Spending the few extra pennies to get a slow-release nitrogen form such as Meth-Ex or Duration will give you more consistent growth. Another option is to eliminate the fertilizer aspect completely by going with a sprayable. Dow’s Dimension 2EW or ArmorTech Kade 65 WDG is perfect for this application.
Treating Anthracnose or Patch Diseases
Did you battle anthracnose or patch diseases this year more than other years? While there could have been many causes, one way to help is to introduce different application methods to your current chemistries. Immediately watering in your spring DMI application can make a drastic difference, or you could insert a new chemistry altogether such as Amvac’s Premion with PCNB and tebuconazole. Only recently has PCNB been researched for its efficacy on anthracnose, and the tests showed Premion has excellent results on newly-formed anthracnose. Not to mention this gives you an additional chemistry to mix into your rotation.
Maintaining Proper Soil Moisture
Another area to address is soil moisture. Whether it is too wet or too dry, the goal is to get it just right. Evaluating the many types of wetting agents to match your soil profile’s characteristics can be overwhelming, but it’s essential to get the best result. Each wetting agent has its strengths and weaknesses. Using the same product you have always used doesn’t mean that it’s the right one for your property, especially if you have the same issues always arising. Do you have troublesome areas that require many man-hours to maintain such as bunker fingers, floral landscapes, or LDS on collars? Try experimenting with Precision Laboratories’ Vivax Granular. This granular wetting agent is extremely versatile and can make a huge difference in retaining the moisture where you need it.
Using Plant Growth Regulators
If used wisely, plant growth regulators can make your season go more smoothly. Many times, these are affected by the Growing Degree Days (GDD). Monitoring the GDD and adjusting your frequency accordingly can drastically improve their effectiveness. Try using them in ways you haven’t before such as spraying them in string-trimmed areas to reduce the needed frequency or applying them to green and tee surrounds to help deal with growth surges. This can really help during the shoulder seasons when seasonal help is in short supply. Each chemistry of growth regulator has a purpose, so make sure the one you are using is best for the end result you desire.
Checking Your Equipment
Sometimes the simplest fixes are the most important. Has it been 2, 5, or even 10 years since you calibrated or evaluated your sprayer’s performance? Even letting one season go by without changing the nozzles and nozzle gaskets or adjusting the boom valves can drastically diminish your product’s performance. Always make sure your speed, psi, boom height, carrier volume, and nozzle caps are appropriate for the type of nozzles you are using. If only half of your product reaches its target, then expect to only have half of the effect you are looking for. Advanced Turf Solutions carries nozzles from Greenleaf Technologies and TeeJet Technologies to fit a wide variety of tasks.
The issues you have had are likely to happen again unless something is done differently. Advanced Turf Solutions is filled with extremely knowledgeable individuals who are eager to help you pinpoint the best solution for your situation. Make next season a little easier on yourself by contacting your ATS rep today!