Turf grass management

Henchem Lines

Many factors have an influence on the health of turf grass, such as soil growing conditions, climate, water, nutrition, weeds, insects, pathogens and more. These factors need to be addressed with an integrated approach to achieve and maintain healthy turf.

Henchem provides a comprehensive range of solutions for turf grass management, suitable for golf courses, sports fields, parks, lawns and other maintained turf grass areas. These solutions consist of a large range of pesticides, fertilzers, soil conditioners, growth promoters and equipment. Our professionals can also assist with expert advice for successful turf grass management.

Whatever your problem or need, we have a quality solution for your turf grass.

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Maintaining turf grass

Various turf grass species, such as warm and cold season grasses and creeper or bunch grasses can be used for turf grass. Turf grass management is a dynamic process as the turf plant, pest activity and environmental stress all changes throughout the season. When endeavouring to self-manage your turf grass, it is important to set realistic expectations of your outcome and know the qualities of your grass well, such as its growing habits. Important considerations for management include:
  • The soil growing condition.
  • What the lawn is being used for and how often it is being used.
  • When to expect pests, diseases and weeds.
  • What the turf plants nutritional requirements are during the season.
  • The quality of turf you would like to maintain.
  • Limitations regarding water and other resources.
  • If there are any agronomic issues.
  • The overall budget for maintaining the lawn.

Soil growing conditions

Back to basics! Healthy soil creates healthy roots that lead to strong plants. 

Improving soil growing conditions will create naturally strong and healthy plants that require less external interventions. Factors such as soil type, PH level, and the amount of humus and microbes present influence soil health. HENCHEM provides a complete soil conditioning program that will improve soil growing conditions.

Turf Grass Nutrition

Balanced nutrition, according to seasonal requirements, is vital to properly maintain healthy grass.  Every time turfgrass is mowed, nutrients are removed from the area which depletes the available nutrients over time. Applying the wrong fertilizers regularly can lead to poor plant health and antagonism in the soil. This will have a negative effect on future turf health. Turf grass prefers to feed through its roots, but foliar feeding can help make quick corrections when nutrients in the soil are unavailable due to antagonism.  

Henchem provides a wide range of conventional, controlled release, slow-release, organic, half-organic and foliar fertilizers. 

Hydration and Stress Management

Proper hydration is vital for turf health. Soil type, turf species, wind and temperature will dictate irrigation intervals.  For warm-season grasses, such as Kikuyu, deep in-frequent watering is always preferred over frequent shallow irrigation. Shallow irrigation creates shallow roots, which will create poor growing grass that is more susceptible to stress damage.

Moisture plays an important role in nutrient absorption as plants can only absorb nutrients it is present. A lack of moisture can limit nutrient intake, while an excess can facilitate loss. Poor infiltration, as a result of compaction, hydrophobic (water repellent) soils, thatch or clay, will lead to ununiform root zone hydration. 

Henchem supplies a range of moisture management products, which improves uniform soil infiltration and the long term hydration of the root zone.

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    Mowing

    Regular mowing is an integral practise in turf grass management. The frequency and height at which the turf grass is mowed will depend on its intended use. Lawns, golf course fairways, rugby and soccer fields are normally mowed higher than cricket fields, while golf course greens are mowed very low.

    Mowing turf grass higher will preserve soil moisture and larger leaf blades will have more chlorophyll for photosynthesis, resulting in healthier turf.  Always mow with sharp blades and preferably remove the cuttings to avoid thatch.

    Henchem supplies turf grass growth regulators which stop vertical growth and stimulates lateral growth and bigger roots.  This will reduce mowing and improve turf quality.

    Controlling diseases and pests

    Different turf species are susceptible to different diseases, dependant on the time of the year. When it comes to controlling turf diseases, prevention is always the best solution. This can be done by adopting a holistic approach between various agronomical practices, supplements, and various chemicals and preventative fungicides. 

    Agronomical practices include actions such as not irrigating late in the afternoon or during the night.  Hafea from spores requires surface moisture to move around on turf leaf blades until it finds an entrance into the plant.  Henchem provides a range of solutions to reduce surface moisture and to increase plants natural resistance against diseases infections. 

    We also supply a range of preventative, curative and eradication fungicides.  When treating turf disease, stress should be reduced by limiting the use of the grounds. Irrigation cycles should also be cut down, though hydration should remain a priority.  

    Keeping turf weed-free

    Weeds grow around five times faster than turf grass during the rainy season. The weed season is therefore different between summer and winter rainfall regions. As a result, weeds increase mowing costs, making mowing alone a short-term solution. The worst mistake is to remove weeds by hand, as this loosens the soil in each weed’s root zone. This is why farmers plough before seeding. Hand weeding leads to an increase of weeds of a larger variety. The best resolution is to treat the turf grass with an effective systemic herbicide. A dense, healthy and high growing turf grass will shelter out sunlight from the soil, which reserves moisture by preventing seed germination.  Pre-emergence herbicide can also be applied onto turf grass to prevent seed germination.

    Popular turf grass in South Africa

    Bermudagrass

    Bermuda grass is popular for its low maintenance and ability to grow well year-round. This fine leafed turf is mainly used in home gardens and golf courses and does well in sandy soils. This grass is also ideal for high traffic and water restricted areas.

    Centipede grass

    Centipede grass is excellent for its heat tolerance and generally low maintenance. This lawn holds well in warm climates, however, is not well suited for heavy traffic areas. Unlike Bermuda grass, this grass is not necessarily suited for droughts as they require regular deep watering.

    Kikuyu

    Kikuyu is most popularly used for sports fields due to its fast-growing capabilities. This lawn is relatively affordable, though is not as effective for growth in shaded areas. The most favourable quality of this grass is its ability to revive even if it has been neglected for a short while.

    LM Berea

    Unlike Kikuyu grass, LM Berea is known for its excellent shade tolerance. Lighter than most lawns, this soft bladed grass can withstand medium traffic and is generally fast-growing. Growing speeds slow-down in winter months, which allows for less maintenance.   

    Henchem also supplies a range of grass seeds.