Most cool-season turfgrass managers stop using soil surfactants for the year in early autumn when the summer stress period is over. However, a late season application of Revolution or Dispatch right before you blow out your irrigation system can provide many important turf benefits before the ground freezes in winter, and after the ground thaws in early spring.
If it gets dry after you blow out your irrigation system, a late autumn Revolution or Dispatch application will help ensure maximum penetration of any rainfall or snow melts that occur, and will improve soil moisture levels before the ground freezes. More favorable soil moisture levels in late autumn will reduce moisture stress on turfgrass going into the winter, and will maximize photosynthesis and root growth until the ground freezes.Winter Benefit
If a warm spell occurs in winter and the soil thaws out, a late autumn surfactant application with newer chemistries like Revolution or Dispatch can also help free water drain off the surface faster. Crown hydration injury occurs when free water on the turf surface hydrates the crown of turfgrass and a freeze occurs. This can damage or even kill the plant. So if less free water remains on the turf surface prior to a freeze, the amount of crown hydration damage may be lessened.Spring Benefit
When the rootzone thaws in early spring, Revolution and Dispatch will still be present in the soil. This will give the same benefit as in late autumn – maximizing penetration of snow melt and any precipitation that occurs to improve soil moisture levels and maximize photosynthesis and root growth coming out of winter. This can be especially important if it gets warm and dry before you can get your irrigation system up and running in the spring.
Want to learn more about the benefits of a late autumn surfactant application? Check out this recent article from Aquatrols’ Midwest Territory Manager Larry Lennert. The topic is also a focus of discussion in this podcast on the Superintendent Radio Network.