Fine Turgrass Management

Fine Turgrass Management

Steve Cook, CGCS, MG - Director of Agronomy

Friday, April 8, 2011

Soil Temperature and its Impact on Turfgrass Growth

Turfgrass needs 4 things for healthy growth: temperature, sunlight, water and air. In the spring, temperature is most often the limiting factor. We monitor soil temperature because it's an excellent indicator of impending activity. It tells us when we can expect to start mowing, when it's time to schedule fertilizer and fungicide applications, weed growth etc.

Growth is optimum when soil temperatures are between 50 and 65 degrees. When temperatures in the soil exceed 70 degrees (mid-summer) root growth slows and stress on the grass plant increases. During these summer periods we might use other methods to help the turf survive, like raising mowing heights.

Soil temperatures this week are in the 50 degree range, so we know growth will soon take off and mowing is a couple of days away. It also tells us it's time to make initial fungicide applications targeted to specific diseases, active above that 50 degree buoy. We'll be making those applications during the next seven days.

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