How to cope with winter stress

Research in winter hardiness and survival pays off.

All companies breeding and dealing with temperate grasses become familiar with the importance of winter tolerance in grasses. High winter tolerance will inevitably result in less sward reestablishment hence the possibility of early spring use of the sward. This is especially important seen from a professional point of view.

STERF recently held an important conference for people interested in winter stress management of turf grasses and it was well-visited. Especially greenkeepers, who faces the problems of the harsh Scandinavian climate, were interested in getting the latest news in research and testing of grasses.

Centred in the conference was a four-year research project about how autumn fertilization affects winter performance of cold season green grass. Many Nordic golf courses suffer from winter damages. The survey based on 1,010 Nordic golf courses revealed a sum of lost income and cost for repairing of app. 14.5 mil EUR every year, which certainly justifies the importance of the project.

One main messages taken from the conference is the importance of choosing the best grass varieties – not only for high winter tolerance, but also in account of disease resistance and fast re-establishment. Use of winter protective plastic cover is also a possibility if though weather conditions makes choice of variety indifferent. This is, however, a burdensome solution.

Winter tolerance is an important part of our breeding programmes in DLF. Promising new varieties, especially suited for the harsh Scandinavian climate, will, after an internal selection, be executed around the world at official test sites. SCANTURF is the well-known Scandinavian turf-testing programme and located in the harsh Scandinavian climate. It is a perfect place to test winter hardiness of grasses.

SCANTURF is a small part of the research work administrated by the Scandinavian Turfgrass Environment Research Foundation (STERF), which was setup in 2006 by the Scandinavian golf federations.

Contact your local DLF consultant if you are interested in more information about our winter tolerant varieties.