Whenever you lose turf during the summer months, you try to find the cause. You run chemical analysis of the soil, leaf tissue analysis, send samples to plant pathology labs to check for fungus diseases, test the irrigation water, and perhaps, may even look for other causes, such as nematodes or problems with the soil structure. In general, none of these tests show any problems that were sufficient to cause the loss of turf. When that happens, you chalk this loss up to “summer stress.” You can only assume the heat of the summer put so much stress on the plant that it weakened and died. In reality, the turf died because of a combination of many factors.
Factors that can be associated with summer turf loss are elevated salt levels from certain types of fertilizer, poor soil structure, fungi, nematodes, localized dry spots, high soil temperatures, reduced root systems, fungicide deficiencies, and many others. Usually, these factors are not sufficient to kill a plant on its own, but acting in unison, they become lethal.
The regular use of Nature Safe fertilizer as part of your turf program can help to alleviate all of these problems. You cannot wait until you have a problem before you use Nature Safe and then expect miracles. Many of the benefits that can be derived from using Nature Safe are cumulative, and can only be realized through regular use of the product.
Regular users of Nature Safe report better rooting and denser turf. This is a result of the improvements in soil structure. Nature Safe feeds the soil microbes. The microbial populations cement soil particles together, thus creating cracks and fissures in the soil that allows air and water to reach the roots, which can then grow deeper and spread out. This, coupled with the extremely low salt content of Nature Safe, allows the plant to make better use of the water and nutrients that are available. The extra turf density helps to shield the soil from the heating rays of the sun and keeps the soil cooler. Thin turf allows more of the sun’s rays to penetrate the turf, thereby heating the soil to the point that can result in the loss of roots.
Pathogenic nematodes and fungi are always present in soil in all areas of the country. These pathogenic organisms may be poor competitors for the food and space available in the soil, however, they are excellent survivors. Their populations usually remain low until the opportunity presents itself, then they rapidly multiply and create problems. Although their populations may be low, they can still cause some stress on the plant. Nature Safe greatly increase s the populations of the beneficial microorganisms while reducing the pathogenic organisms such as fungi and nematodes. In addition, Nature Safe has repeatedly been shown to enhance the efficiency of fungicides. The result is a healthier plant that can withstand more stress.
Localized dry spots and fairy ring are problems created by fungi working in the soil. While they may not be present in large enough quantities to cause their classic turf symptoms, they can still be putting some added stress on the turf. Nature Safe has been shown in a recent study to significantly reduce damage from both localized dry spots and fairy ring.
A noted professor of turfgrass management said that plants have a stress budget and once you exceed that budget, the plant will die. If the stress budget is 100 units (whatever those units may be) and is already under 99 units of stress, and one more unit of stress is added, the plant will die. Therefore, very small, insignificant factors can add just enough stress to kill the plant. This is the classic case of the straw that broke the camel’s back. Nature Safe, with it’s extremely low salt content, allows the turf manager to safely fertilizer his turf even at the hottest times with no surge of growth to overstimulate the plant, and to help reduce a whole myriad of stress factors that can be detrimental to the turf. By lessening the stress factors that you can control, you increase the amount of stress that the turf can take from factors that you cannot control and still remain healthy.
I have personally been involved with the use and sale of turfgrass fertilizers for over thirty years, and I have never seen anything work like Nature Safe. Even on my home lawn, I have been able to achieve a density that I have never been able to in the past. I was also able to suppress diseases without the use of fungicides since I began to use Nature Safe. Anyone who manages turf owes it to themself to try Nature Safe and see the benefits of stress reduction, both on their turf and on themselves.