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4 Ways to Help Plants Battle Heat Stress

If only they could talk, your clients’ landscapes would probably say, “baby, it’s hot out there” about now, and ask for help for the heat-stressed plants that beautify them.

Summer is an extremely stressful time for plants, especially in regions where drought conditions are at a peak, but Ewing can help you help them fight back. Here are four ways:

1. Mitigate Heat Stress With Seaweed-Based Plant Healthcare Products

Landscape contractors can learn a lot from golf course superintendents and other turf managers, then apply their best practices to keep their clients’ landscapes healthy.

Summer heat stress is caused by several factors:

• Elevated rootzone temperature that negatively impacts root tissue.

• The plant transpires more rapidly during hot weather resulting in moisture stress.

• The plant is consuming energy (respiration) faster than it is producing energy (photosynthesis). The energy reserves stored in the roots are consumed, and root systems get shorter and shorter as summer progresses.

Research at Rutgers University in 2002 studied the mechanisms associated with turfgrass heat stress and found that synthetic cytokinins injected into the root system preserved root viability and helped plants survive high-temperature stress.

Follow-up research at Virginia Tech in 2008 studied the application of natural cytokinins contained in seaweed extracts on creeping bentgrass to see if there was any impact on heat stress tolerance. The research showed that liquid applications of seaweed extract at 14-day intervals during the summer improved root viability and enhanced heat tolerance.

Since 2008, many golf courses have successfully incorporated the application of seaweed-based plant healthcare products into their putting green management programs. Applications are best made at 14-day intervals throughout the summer stress period.

The following articles provide further information and details on the subject:

Mechanisms Controlling Heat-Induced Leaf Senescence and Heat Tolerance in Bentgrass (USGA Research)

Cytokinins and Seaweed Extracts for Summer Putting Green Health (Golfdom)

2. Improve Nitrogen Efficiency and More with EMPRO Kelp Complex

EMPRO Kelp Complex is a soil biological inoculant that stimulates beneficial organisms in the rootzone. The balance it brings to the soil creates a healthier, stronger root system, helping plants stand up to heat and other environmental stresses. It’s derived from a complex bio-catalyst process and fortified with essential micronutrients.

It can be used with all fertilizers and pesticides, or it can be applied alone or incorporated into tank mixes. 

EMPRO Kelp Complex contains over 40 trace elements, cytokinins (from seaweed extract), magnesium, iron, zinc, PABA (para-aminobenzoic) acid, riboflavin, thiamin, biotin, nicotinic acid, Fulvic, Humic and Amino Acids along with essential trace elements. It’s ideal for foliar, drip, soil, or fertigation application to turf, landscape ornamentals, flowers, fruit trees, and vegetables. 

In addition to improving nitrogen efficiency, EMPRO Kelp Complex: 

  • Converts nutrients into usable food for the plant
  • Balances soil pH and soil structure
  • Balances the soil micro flora
  • Reduces salt accumulations
  • Reduces chemical buildups
  • Promotes root growth
  • Reduces soil compaction
  • Reduces transplant shock
  • Stimulates blooming and fruiting

The benefits of using EMPRO Kelp Complex include:

  • All-natural bioactive ingredients
  • Ultra-low application rates
  • Bioavailable carbon sources
  • Oxygen-infused liquid formulation
  • No phytotoxicity
  • Tank mix compatible

3. Get Stronger Soil with EMPRO Granular Soil Enhancer

EMPRO Granular Soil Enhancer is a unique soil amendment designed to improve the texture of soil so it holds nutrients and moisture better.

You can use soil enhancer to:

  • Drive deeper root growth and strengthen plant cell walls
  • Aerate soil and reduce compaction
  • Optimize pH
  • Increase water-holding capacity
  • Increase nutrient uptake (CEC)
  • Promote natural chelation of iron
  • Provide fast green-up and recovery
  • Condition and improve soil texture
  • Improve plant immunity to weather changes such as drought tolerance, diseases, and pest pressures
  • Prevent plant uptake of heavy metals

For more information on these and other EMPRO products and how they can protect your plants when they’re most vulnerable, visit the EMPRO page at EwingIrrigation.com.

4. Reduce Irrigation Requirements, Conserve Water, and Protect Plants with Hydretain

Hydretain is a food-grade, biodegradable product used to help plants survive with less water, making it a perfect tool to help manage current drought and watering restrictions. It is usable on turf, trees, shrubs, flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

Benefits include:

  • Reduces watering by up to 50%
  • Reduces wilt and turf or ornamental plant loss
  • Enhances nutrient uptake and efficiency
  • Improves transplant survival
  • Increases seed germination
  • Helps plants’ natural cooling process, improving heat stress tolerance
  • Improves plant vigor while reducing pest pressure
  • Enhances Kelp Complex and soil conditioner activity

One application will last two to three months and can be reapplied to extend plant protection. Hydretain creates a thin film on root hairs that attracts water vapor in the soil profile before it’s lost to evaporation. It then condenses this previously unusable moisture into plant-available micro-droplets of water. This process helps with plant hydration and its normal cooling processes.

For best results, you’ll want to irrigate immediately following the Hydretain application, so schedule treatments to coincide with irrigation. Check out www.hydretain.com for more information and consider the Hydretain Advantage Program for free marketing materials to promote the program to customers.

Lean on Us for Landscape Solutions

For more landscape solutions, visit your local Ewing location or our Turf Products page at EwingIrrigation.com today. You also can check out our blog articles, YouTube videos, Education offerings, and subscribe to our newsletters.

If you have a specific question, we’ve got you covered. Call Ewing’s T&O Solutions Helpline at 480-669-8791 or email turfhelpline@ewingirrigation.com. T&O experts Kevin Lewis and Pat Gross are standing by from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST Monday through Friday to provide answers.

TAGS: turf solutions, plant care, turf maintenance, Plants, Water Conservation, Turf Management, Drought Stress, Turfgrass Heat Stress, EMPRO