Physiological Problems of Turf

Soil Compaction: Certain soils are compacted easily, especially in areas of heavy foot traffic. This condition prevents adequate gas exchange, penetration of moisture and nutrients, and restricts root growth. Aerification corrects this condition.

Dog Urine Injury: Circular spots 8 to 10 inches in diameter may appear in areas frequented by female dogs. Heavy watering helps dilute the salt concentration and corrects this condition.

Fertilizer Burn: Commercial fertilizers are salts and can burn turf grass when applied excessively. This condition is most often seen where fertilizers are spilled.

Excessive Shading: Most lawn grasses require full sunlight. When a lawn is fertilized, this in turn stimulates growth of shrubs and tress that shade turf grass. Selective pruning of trees and shrubs helps correct this condition. St. Augustine grass and tall fescue are somewhat more shade tolerant than other turf types.

Sun Scald: Clipping grass too closely removes foliage necessary for food manufacturing and exposes stolons to direct sun rays. When this occurs, a brown lesion or burned areas is found on the upper surface of the stolon. Avoid mowing too closely.

Improper Fertilization: Excessive use of an individual element, such as nitrogen, makes plants more susceptible to disease attack. Avoid this problem by fertilizing according to soil test recommendations.

Shock: Allowing grass to become too tall before mowing causes grass to experience shock and lose vigor. Mow frequently to prevent this condition.

Permanent Wilt: Grass allowed to become too dry may pass the permanent wilt stage where recovery is not possible. This may occur where water does not penetrate because of compaction.

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