As the growing season draws to a close and the days grow shorter, it is important to turn attention to preparing your turfgrass for cold weather. As the daylight hours decrease, turfgrass naturally undergoes a process called hardening off. It’s the plant’s way to defend against winter damage and build tolerance to cold temperatures. A big part of hardening off is the process of storing carbohydrates in the cells of the crown and root tissues, increasing cell solute concentration, accumulating proteins, and strengthening cell wall structures. The right nutritional program can really improve these processes:
Why does this program work?
Better Photosynthetic Efficiency
The plant builds carbohydrates through the process of photosynthesis; but as both the daylight length and sunlight intensity decrease, there is less opportunity for the plant to photosynthesize. Foundation Forty props up photosynthesis by supplying the specific carbon source which plants use as the building block for constructing the chlorophyll molecule. Amperage works to support the process by providing iron and manganese, two nutrients with major responsibilities in terms of improving photosynthetic activity. Better photosynthesis leads to more plant carbohydrate production.
When weather conditions limit photosynthesis, Amperage delivers a load of sugars, which the plant absorbs and uses to build complex carbohydrates. These sugars are an additional supplement to what the plant can build internally. In a tough winter, every little bit of carbohydrate energy will help. The amino acids in Foundation Forty provide another kicker! They work to improve plant metabolic efficiencies, mainly helping the plant assimilate nitrogen better and building proteins more efficiently. Helping the plant conserve energy in these processes results in less carbohydrate use and more storage. 1-0-15 provides potassium, the crucial nutrient that allows the plant to transport and store carbohydrates for later use effectively.
Increased Solute Concentration Works as Anti-Freeze for Plant Cells.
There are three major ways this Foliar-Pak program works to increase solute concentration.
- Plants use carbohydrates to increase solute concentration. By increasing carbohydrate reserves as discussed above, one of the fringe benefits for plants is this valuable cell solute.
- The amino acids from Foundation Forty are rapidly converted to separate osmolytes and uploaded into the cell vacuoles, which help to regulate cell water status.
- One of the primary functions of potassium is to regulate osmotic relations. By fortifying the plant with more organic osmolytes (amino acids), inorganic osmolytes (potassium), and carbohydrates, the solute concentration of cells is increased. Therefore, winter freezing and dehydration is less likely.
Strengthen Cell Wall Structure
Foliar-Pak Calcium is a very efficient calcium source. One of the primary plant functions of calcium is to stabilize cell walls and cell membranes. This is the first line of defense against disease, infection, and winter damage. Stronger cell walls and cuticles help the plant tolerate traffic and changing weather conditions more successfully.
This year, let Foliar-Pak put your turf to bed properly with a fall program consisting of Foundation Forty, Amperage, 1-0-15, and Foliar-Pak Calcium. Apply these products in a tank mix solution at recommended label rates. Spray bi-weekly anytime beginning early to mid-October through your snow mold spray. Since our amino acids will enhance uptake of systemic fungicides and PGR’s, you’ll see better performance from them.