As summer approaches, one of the most effective ways to prepare turf for environmental stress is by devising a sound foliar fertility program. Research has shown that frequent low dose foliar fertilizer applications result in more consistent growth and more consistent putting green speeds. Controlled growth and fewer flushes of growth also result in better carbohydrate conservation. And we all want that for our turf.
Biostimulant components, for many reasons, should weigh heavily into your foliar fertility choices. EnP Turf foliar fertility strategies are based on the scientific findings involving the use of seaweed extracts, humic acids and L-amino acids. Today I want to focus on why and how L-amino acids are important for intensely maintained turfgrass.
Under ideal growing conditions plants generate sufficient levels of amino acids. Respiration drives this process. Carbohydrates are transformed through many various reactions while nitrogen is added, thus creating amino acids. Amino acids are then used by the plant to form proteins. Proteins, being the building blocks of life, perform structural, metabolic, and transport functions within the plant.
The problem we face is that most turfgrass situations these days are not “ideal” conditions. Golf course and athletic field turf is cut very closely; it receives inappropriate traffic and is abused in various intended or unintended ways. These factors, along with environmental stresses, limit photosynthesis and carbohydrate production translating to reduced levels of proteins within the plant, and worse yet, the over utilization of stored carbohydrates. This can quickly place the plant on the threshold of disaster. However, additions of L-amino acids will help reverse these problems and help prevent stress.
BETTER STRESS TOLERANCE AND IMPROVED UPTAKE
Foliar applications of L-form amino acids are easily taken up by plants. Plants conserve energy and carbohydrates because they don’t need to commit as much energy to building amino acids internally. This energy can be “banked” for use later in the summer. Our balanced package provides individual amino acids to help improve drought tolerance, salt tolerance, heat tolerance, chlorophyll production, photosynthesis, stomatal functioning, and plant hormone production. These functions are directly related to improved plant functioning and better rooting.
Studies demonstrate the ability of amino acids to enhance uptake of nutrients, pesticides and PGR’s. So including L-amino acids to a spray solution not only improves plant health but also greatly benefits tank mix companions.
Although applying amino acids to turf already under stress can benefit ailing turfgrass, a more proactive approach is recommended in order to improve plant health. It has been documented in many research studies that small doses of L-amino acids (or any biostimulant) applied frequently are the most beneficial for providing long-term stress tolerance and improved rooting. This strategy is much more effective than less frequent higher rates. Additionally, the longer a plant is exposed to consistent applications of biostimulants, the more benefits are realized. So the plant will gain greater stress benefits in year 3 or 4 of a program than it did in year one.
L-amino acids are just part of a well balance biostimulant program. Positive health effects of L-amino acids, along with seaweed extracts and humic acids, have been widely documented in research studies. In our products we match individual nutrients with specific chelators and biostimulants in order to provide optimum foliar fertility and plant health. We go to great lengths to ensure that EnP Turf products are precisely formulated and designed with ideal levels of biostimulants.