TURF GRASS NUTRITION
Calcium is needed for strong cellwall structure and also for cell division. Calcium plays a role in the pH of a soil and can improve soil structure and water infiltration. Calcium plays a major role in all plants and soils and maintaining calcium levels can be difficult. Deficiency tends to be noticed at the roots and it affects their growth. Deficiencies can cause thatch build-up, weed pressures due to thinning turf and soil compaction.
Magnesium is an enzyme activator and as a component of chlorophyll makes it a vital nutrient for turf grass. Deficiency of magnesium is most likely in soils that have excessive levels of potash and high levels of calcium. Deficiency usually shows up in the plant as foliar yellowing.
Sulphur works with nitrogen to produce proteins for plant growth. Sulphur also helps the grass plant make better utilization of oxygen. From an organic viewpoint sulphur plays a role in the activity of microorganisms within the soil. Sulphur deficiencies usually result in chlorsis on the plant.
Zinc is an important component for energy production and growth regulation. Zinc deficiencies occur mainly in new growth and are usually more of a problem during cold wet spring weather. Zinc can be affected by high phosphorous and iron levels in the soil. Zinc deficiencies present itself as smaller leaf size.
Molybdenum deficiencies are uncommon in turf and usually present themselves as a nitrogen deficiency. Molybdenum is more associated with nitrogen bacteria fixation which is not a proponent of turf grass. The requirements of this nutrient are low so a deficiency is rare in most plants.
Iron is involved in the production of chlorophyll and is a component of many enzymes associated with energy transfer and nitrogen reduction. Iron deficiencies show up as yellowing on upper leave and in severe cases leaves to turn completely yellow to white before dying. Iron deficiencies can occur during wet cool springs and on compacted soils. Also high levels of phosphorous, manganese and zinc in soils can affect iron.
Copper is necessary for carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolism also it strengths cell walls and prevents wilting. An increase in phosphorous and available iron in soils can decrease copper uptake
by plants. Deficiencies appear as stem and twig dieback, leaf yellowing and stunted pale growth.
Boron is related to cell wall formation. Boron deficient plants may have a stunted appearance. Boron deficiency is more common during periods of drought due to root inactivity.
Chloride is a mobile anion in plants and is primary used in the physiological functions in plants. Most soils contain enough chloride for turf grass nutrition.