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Principles of Turfgrass Nutrition: why some nutrients are required as fertiliser and others are not

C62291821dac0dd5b7ef3b72a30cd137?s=47 Micah Woods
January 22, 2018

Principles of Turfgrass Nutrition: why some nutrients are required as fertiliser and others are not

There are 17 essential elements, but not all of those are required as fertilizer. The primary nutrients, macronutrients, secondary nutrients, and micronutrients will be explained, not much in terms of function, but in terms of how the turf manager should think about adjusting their supply. The primary elements are never applied as fertilizer because the grass gets them from air and water. Of the macronutrients, those most often required as fertilizer are nitrogen and potassium. Secondary nutrients and micronutrients are rarely required by the grass, but are sometimes applied to ensure they are present in adequate amounts.

C62291821dac0dd5b7ef3b72a30cd137?s=128

Micah Woods

January 22, 2018
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  1. Principles of Turfgrass Nutrition: why some nutrients are required as

    fertiliser and others are not Micah Woods January 22, 2018 Chief Scientist Asian Turfgrass Center www.asianturfgrass.com
  2. Today’s schedule • 13:30 to 15:00, set 1 • 15:00

    to 15:30, coffee break • 15:30 to 17:00, set 2
  3. Today’s key points 1. 17 essential elements

  4. Today’s key points 1. 17 essential elements 2. Our real

    objective – good grass
  5. Today’s key points 1. 17 essential elements 2. Our real

    objective – good grass 3. Nutrient deficiencies are avoidable disasters.
  6. Today’s key points 1. 17 essential elements 2. Our real

    objective – good grass 3. Nutrient deficiencies are avoidable disasters. 4. Easy 3 step process to prevent deficiencies
  7. 17 essential elements

  8. Good grass – what’s it made of? manilagrass, seashore paspalum,

    and bermudagrass, Thailand
  9. 4 classifications of nutrients • Primary nutrients • Macronutrients •

    Secondary nutrients • Micronutrients
  10. 4 classifications of nutrients • Primary nutrients – never required

    as fertilizer • Macronutrients – often required as fertilizer • Secondary nutrients – sometimes required as fertilizer • Micronutrients – rarely required as fertilizer
  11. Primary (or basic) nutrients C Carbon H Hydrogen O Oxygen

  12. Macronutrients N Nitrogen K Potassium P Phosphorus

  13. Secondary nutrients Ca Calcium Mg Magnesium S Sulfur

  14. Micronutrients Fe Iron Mn Manganese Cu Copper Zn Zinc B

    Boron Mo Molybdenum Cl Chlorine Ni Nickel
  15. Our real objective – good grass

  16. Has enough nutrients zoysiagrass, Japan

  17. Doesn’t have enough nutrients bermudagrass, Vietnam

  18. Has enough nutrients zoysiagrass, Japan

  19. Doesn’t have enough nutrients zoysiagrass, Japan

  20. Has enough nutrients bentgrass and ryegrass, USA

  21. Nutrient deficiencies are avoidable disasters

  22. Penn A-1 creeping bentgrass, K deficiency

  23. I looked through my photo collection to find pictures of

    other (non-nitrogen) nutrient deficiencies. Then I made this slide.
  24. Easy 3 step process to prevent deficiencies

  25. Step 1: Healthy grass – and we only care about

    healthy grass – has a known nutrient concentration.
  26. None
  27. Should we worry about micronutrients? I don’t.

  28. None
  29. Step 2: The amount of nitrogen supplied to the grass

    controls growth and uptake of the other nutrients
  30. None
  31. “N supply was the primary determinant of turfgrass growth rate,

    plant nutrient demand, and nutrient uptake. Nitrogen uptake accounted for over 88% of uptake of all other nutrients. Uptake of P and K were strongly related to tissue N content irrespective of soil test levels.” Kussow et al., 2012
  32. “The fundamental principle of successful greenkeeping is the recognition of

    the fact that the finest golfing grasses flourish on poor soil and that more harm is done by over-, rather than underfertilizing.” Alister MacKenzie
  33. Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland

  34. Kashima Stadium, Japan

  35. manilagrass putting green, Thailand

  36. seashore paspalum and bermudagrass, Thailand

  37. creeping bentgrass, PGA Catalunya

  38. Step 3: Either ensure that soil nutrient levels remain high

    enough – MLSN works exceptionally well for this – to produce excellent turf conditions, or supply 100% of what the grass uses.
  39. For more, please see www.asianturfgrass.com or @asianturfgrass on Twitter.

  40. ATC newsletter: www.subscribepage.com/atcupdate MLSN newsletter: www.subscribepage.com/mlsn