We often hear the terms “low maintenance” and “high maintenance” used in reference to turf management programs or specific turf sites, but what do these terms really mean? Furthermore, how does one go about modifying the level of management attention that is required?
After the epic winter and the tough spring we have experienced thus far, stress is the first word that comes to mind. Stress is one of the primary ingredients that has bearing on required maintenance levels. Just like people or animals, plants are susceptible to detrimental effects from stress. One way to define plant stress is any agent that forces a plant to devote resources away from growth in order to combat the stress or its effects. When the growing environment is stressful, there is a greater need to assist, or intervene, with inputs, pest control measures and/or cultural practices, thereby increasing maintenance.
Check out the latest blog post from UMass, written by Jason Lanier, for common turf stress factors.