Many turfgrass managers cease their soil surfactant (wetting agent) program in the fall when the summer stress period is over. However, late season applications of Zipline and Dispatch Sprayable provide many important turf benefits from autumn to spring for both warm and cool season turfgrasses.
Late Fall Benefit
A late fall application of Zipline (for greens) and Dispatch Sprayable (for fairways) will help ensure maximum penetration of any rainfall that occurs, as well as improve soil moisture levels before winter in order to provide a more uniform fall transition into dormancy. By creating more favorable soil moisture levels in late fall and reducing moisture stress on turfgrass, turf managers will also maximize root growth and carbohydrate accumulation until dormancy.
Winter weather can affect the survival of both warm-season and cool-season grasses. Soils may remain hydrophobic during winter dormancy resulting in winter desiccation due to water repellency. During dormancy, symptoms of localized dry spot (LDS) are not often visible to the turf manager. A late fall application (cool-season) or continuing winter applications (warm-season) of Zipline and Dispatch Sprayable can prevent winter desiccation and help drain the turf surface faster.
In the event of a freeze, soil remains hydrated below the surface, reducing plant crown desiccation and limiting frost heaving of soil. It also minimizes the risk of winter injury or death from crown hydration injury by moving free water off the turf surface that may moisten the crowns of turfgrass plants before a freeze occurrence.
When the rootzone thaws in early spring, Zipline and Dispatch Sprayable will still be present in the soil. This residual will maximize penetration of snow melt and precipitation for improved soil moisture levels, which will in turn help support optimal 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. In addition, studies have shown that a fall application of Aquatrols soil surfactants improve spring green-up, which will help ensure that your course is ready for in-season play quicker.
Rates & Timing:
For Greens & Tees:
For cool-season greens, apply 6-8 oz/1000 ft2 when soil temperatures allow or prior to irrigation blow-out. Apply 1/10” of irrigation to help position the product. For management of warm-season greens, apply prior to the next scheduled irrigation cycle and continue applications monthly throughout the winter to ensure optimal playability.
Apply 24 oz/acre per month to fairways. Water in well the evening after application.
For more information on how to optimize your turf for the season read additional posts on our blog here.