A Tale of Many Climates
Not all climates are created equal, so you need to think local with your turf management plan
It’s 2020, and our society is going global with each passing day. No matter where you are, you can get anything on Amazon shipped to your house in two days. Social media connects us to people across the world in an instant. But one thing that has to stay local–and will never be universalized–is your turf management plan.
The main reason for that is your regional (or even local) climate. What works for a turf pro in Greensboro, North Carolina will not work for a pro in Phoenix. And beyond just your area, the seasons present unique challenges depending on where you call home. All of that factors into your turf plan for 2020, which should be as locally sourced as the tomatoes at your local farmer’s market.
Let’s take a look at some of the variables to consider, influenced by your local and regional climate:
Every variety of turf has a specific range of ideal temperature, including an optimal temperature; it’s why we recommend different species of turfgrass for different climate regions. Cool-season grasses such as bentgrass and tall fescue are typically found in the northern areas of the US while you will discover warm-season grasses like bermudagrass and zoysia in the southern regions.
When the temperature changes dramatically–like in the winter in the north or even overnight in the southwest–it can lead to plant stress. Heat stress can cause damage to the roots, which will affect the grasses’ ability to extract water and nutrients from the soil.
Temperatures that exceed that optimal range in either heat or chill can affect the health of turfgrass and the recommended region that these grasses will grow and thrive. LebanonTurf fertilizers, such as Emerald Isle Solutions, can deliver much-needed foliar nutrients to your turf. And fertilizers don’t just help the turf now, it strengthens the roots and replenishes the soil for future stressful conditions.
Water makes life all over the world, but it varies a lot by region. Each variety of turfgrass has specific water requirements, and these can range from grasses that have high water needs to those that can withstand long periods of dryness.
The key to having an effective irrigation plan is to screen turfgrass species for drought resistance and water use efficiency. Turf that has a higher drought tolerance should then be used in regions that expected to receive higher temperatures and more extended periods of low precipitation.
Even when it comes to turf’s enemies, your location plays a big role in what pests you have to combat. Warmer temperatures create a breeding ground for insects and help to expand their life cycle while also creating an ideal environment for weeds and diseases to thrive.
Warmer climates, along with the potential for extreme periods of drought or precipitation, will also have an impact on the timing and effectiveness of pre-emergent herbicides and insecticides, as well as bring brand new kinds of insects, weeds, and diseases.
In Great Expectations, Charles Dickens wrote, “Spring is the time of year when it is summer in the sun and winter in the shade.” Seasons can be so delicate, that you need to anticipate them to have the right plan in place to protect your turf. In warmer climates, a single overnight frost in the winter can wipe out an entire fruit crop. In the north, a brutal winter can cause turf to stay dormant for too long in the spring. In these transitional times, you need to have answers, or at least have the right turfgrass variety in place to withstand the changing seasons.
For more tips on how to manage your local climate, talk to your LebanonTurf sales rep. They know the areas and can help you get the tools you need to go toe-to-toe with Mother Nature.