By Nicole Wise on May 14, 2014 3:51:00 PM
Have you ever received a complaint from a customer or member regarding the color of his/her lawn? This statement makes lawn care business owners and golf course superintendents scream!
We must help set our customers’ expectations about what is healthy in turf and help them learn about the many shades of green grass.
What Does A Green Lawn Really Mean?
Last week, Professor Cale Bigelow of Purdue University visited the Holganix office to speak to our sales representatives regarding turf health.
One of the big topics Professor Bigelow touched on was color, specifically the different expectations for turf color shared around the world.
For example, in the United States, we expect a different shade of green than does Europe. While Americans expect a vibrant shade of green, Europeans tend to prefer a paler coloring. “The vibrant greens can be a turn off to Europeans as they tend to think it’s achieved the color due to high amounts of synthetics,” says Professor Bigelow.
“When you purchase a burger,” says Professor Bigelow. “There’s a huge difference between purchasing a burger from a McDonald’s and from a high-end steak house.” Turf is essentially the same thing. When you’re looking at turf color, there’s a big difference between a bent grass and blue grass, despite the fact that they belong in the same family of turf.
Turf Color Combes Back To...
“At the end of the day, turf color comes back to the level of chlorophyll production a plant undergoes,” says Holganix Director of Plant and Soil Science, Dr. Robert Neidermyer. The more chlorophyll produced by a plant, the greener that plant appears. At the same time, certain plants can only reach a certain threshold of chlorophyll production and thereby green coloring. This idea goes back to looking at the shade of green bent grass has versus a blue grass type.
By adding proteins or nitrogen to the soil, we can influence the amount of chlorophyll production in a plant. The plant is used to producing the amount of chlorophyll it needs to be healthy based on the environmental situations it’s placed in. “By influencing the amount of chlorophyll production in a plant, we run the risk of exhausting the turf.”
At the end of the day, we all want a beautiful green shade of turf. However, it’s important to consider the health of the plant in addition to the green shade and to keep expectations within reason of the plant’s ability to maintain a vibrant hue.