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Managing Heat Stress

Updated: Jun 26

The summer heat can pose significant challenges to maintaining healthy

and vibrant turfgrass on golf courses. Heat stress can lead to discoloration, wilted grass,

and overall decline in turf quality. However, through the strategic management of

nutrients, including calcium and other essential elements, golf course managers can

effectively mitigate heat stress and promote resilient turfgrass. In this blog, we will

explore the role of calcium and other nutrients in managing heat stress on golf course

turfgrass and provide valuable insights to support your turf management practices.

Understanding Heat Stress on Golf Course Turfgrass:

1. High Temperature: Excessive heat can disrupt normal physiological processes in

turfgrass, leading to reduced photosynthesis, impaired water uptake, and

increased water loss through transpiration.

2. Oxidative Stress: Heat stress can trigger the production of reactive oxygen

species (ROS) within plant cells, causing oxidative damage. This further

weakens the turf's ability to tolerate and recover from heat stress.

3. Nutrient Imbalance: Heat stress can exacerbate nutrient deficiencies or

imbalances, further compromising turfgrass health. Deficiencies in essential

nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and micronutrients, can

hinder the turf's ability to withstand and recover from heat stress.

4. Calcium Deficiency: Inadequate calcium levels in turfgrass can lead to weakened

cell walls and reduced stress tolerance. Calcium deficiency can impair root

development, nutrient uptake,

Managing Heat Stress with Calcium and Nutrient Strategies:

1. Calcium Applications: Regular applications of calcium can fortify turfgrass cell

walls, enhancing their strength and resilience against heat stress. Calcium helps

maintain cell membrane integrity, improving the turf's ability to regulate

water and nutrient uptake. Consider incorporating calcium-based fertilizers or

foliar sprays with a balanced nutrient profile to ensure adequate calcium


2. Balanced Nutrient Applications: A well-balanced nutrient program is crucial for

turfgrass resilience and stress tolerance. Regular soil testing can guide targeted

fertilization practices, ensuring optimal nutrient levels. Adequate nitrogen

promotes healthy growth and recovery, while phosphorus aids in energy transfer

and root development. Potassium supports water and nutrient uptake, enhancing

heat stress tolerance. Micronutrients, such as iron and manganese, play vital

roles in metabolic processes and antioxidant systems.

3. Organic Matter Management: Managing thatch buildup and organic matter

content is essential to reduce heat stress. Excessive thatch acts as an insulating

layer, trapping heat and impeding water movement. Regular aeration and

dethatching practices improve oxygen exchange, water infiltration, and nutrient

availability, reducing heat stress on the turfgrass.

4. Irrigation Management: Proper irrigation practices are crucial for mitigating heat

stress. Irrigate deeply and infrequently to encourage deeper root growth. Water

early in the morning to minimize water loss through evaporation during peak heat

hours. Monitor soil moisture levels regularly to avoid drought stress or

waterlogged conditions.

5. Shade Management: Utilize strategic shade structures or tree plantings to

provide temporary relief from intense sunlight. These shade sources can reduce

heat stress on turfgrass and help maintain cooler soil temperatures.

Managing heat stress on golf course turfgrass requires a comprehensive

approach that includes the strategic application of calcium and other essential nutrients.

By ensuring optimal nutrient levels, managing organic matter, practicing proper

irrigation, and providing shade when possible, golf course managers can effectively

mitigate heat stress and maintain healthy, resilient turfgrass. Remember to consult with

turfgrass experts, conduct regular soil testing, and customize nutrient management

practices based on the specific needs of your golf course.


Are you currently dealing with excessive heat on your property? We've got you covered!

Check out our recommended heat stress foliar application and save up to 15% on orders placed before August 1st, 2023!

This application is designed to alleviate respiration stress and build plant health so your turf can withstand these hot summer months!


1. Beard, J. B., & Green, R. L. (1994).

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