TAKE AWAY SUMMARY OF THE RESEARCH IN 2009 ON CORE CULTIVATON RECOVERY CONDUCTED AT VIRGINIA TECH AND PURDUE UNIVERSITIES
Dr. Tom Watschke, Professor Emeritus, Penn State University
Director, Field Research, Floratine Products Group
---Two locations (Va. Tech and Purdue) were chosen in order to assess the reproducibility of results from different geographic areas
---Both research centers conducted the trials using identical protocols (methods, materials, treatments, and evaluation parameters)
---The rate of core cultivation closure, as a measure of mechanical stress resistance, was chosen because it could be imposed on the site via the same means and intensity. Further, other stresses (environmental for example) could not be duplicated exactly at two locations. Also, if pre-stress conditioning could be shown to enhance mechanical stress tolerance, reasonable assumptions could be made about other types of stresses.
---Pre-stress conditioning is a management approach used by many to enhance the ability of turfgrasses to handle stresses when they occur. It is a pro-active management strategy which involves the use of bio-stimulants, foliar nutrition, and, at times, plant growth regulators. These substances have been consistently shown to have a positive influence on the ability of turfgrasses to have nutritional soundness, active and balanced hormone/auxin activities, and increased levels of anti-oxidants. In the Virginia Tech and Purdue studies, all the treatments were applied prior to the core cultivation and none after the fact. Therefore, the positive results that occurred in both locations (quicker core cultivation hole closure and higher quality turf) were the result of the material applications that occurred prior to the core cultivation.
---The results of these two trials, which were both quantitative and qualitative and were mimics of each other, confirmed, with significance, that the combination of Floratine products, applied as a pro-active, pre-stress management strategy enhanced the treated turf’s ability to tolerate the mechanical stress and stimulated recovery from it.
The combination of Floratine products provided the necessary ingredients needed by the turf in order for it to function at a metabolic peak when the stress occurred (a classic example of how successful pro-active management can be, rather than re-active, which would be to treat the turf after the stress has occurred). The time has come to manage turfgrasses pro-actively rather than waiting for the turf to exhibit some sign that it is not doing well and in need of help.