Dealing with heat stress this summer- November 2013





Feel free to contact me with if you would like to come on turfchat for this episode or future episodes.




Don’t forget that we are hosting a morning with Dr John Kaminski from Penn State University All information can be found at



Following on fromTurfchat Australia which can viewed here….



I have posted some discussion we pointed out during the show as well as a few other points that will help all turf managers with heat, disease and drought stress this summer.


  • Start with a strong foundation early.
  • Review what you did last year and change what did not work.
  • Increase root health Use root stimulants such as kelp, amino, humic fulvic acid products
  • Look at your irrigation practices- This will be harder as the summer goes on especially when your cool season grasses are stressing out with a shorter root system. Keep the soil moisture consistent as not to stress our turf. There is no right or wrong method here but the aim is to get desired turf conditions (as Dr. Micah Woods says). (This is where soil mositure metres come in very handy- more on that in a future post). For an expalnation on water irrigation management have a look at the picture below from Micah Woods at the Asian Turfgrass Centre For more information on this work below see this link to his blog post.





As well with this point I’ve already heard of some leaf diseases, moss, algae and pythium coming up which may sound strange with the dry weather in NSW, SA and QLD and constant wet in Vic. However with watering in these conditions you can create the disease from over watering, humidity. With turf being stressed and thinning out don’t be surprised to see moss or algae in those areas. We have been seeing this in some trial plots as well this summer in Sydney.


  • With warm season grasses protect your turf early on as the root system is still not fully active.
  • Do a preventative fungicide and insecticide program. (if anyone would like a program designed for them please contact me). Under stress conditions some systemic fungicides may take longer to be taken up as the plant will not be fully functioning properly so be wary of this and apply fungicides on a prevention basis.
  • Have a wetting agent program and start earlier rather than later
  • Increase your height of cut. This will go a long way to help manager all types of stress with minimum disruption to greens speeds.



What does this season hold for us. Well the November to January quarter looks slightly drier and significant warmer for most parts of Australia.

Probability of exceeding median rainfall - click on the map for a larger version

Probability of exceeding median maximum temperature - click on the map for a larger versionProbability of exceeding median minimum temperature - click on the map for a larger version

Significant rain is expected this weekend along the eastern states so if you haven’t got a spray out yet get one out when you can to stop any infection.




Take care everyone and talk soon


Nadeem Zreikat