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Navigating climate challenges in the turf industry


Growing natural turf is a complex and unpredictable undertaking that places turf growers at the mercy of the weather. The turf industry faces numerous challenges ranging from extreme weather events to changing climate patterns.

Here at Inturf we understand the inherent unpredictability of the occupation. The weather can swing from droughts to floods, winds to damp still environments, each presenting unique challenges. During a drought, the grasses become weak and scorched, necessitating substantial irrigation to keep it alive. On the flip side, floods can compact the ground and smother the grasses to the extent that the turf rots and dies.

Mitigating flood damage is costly, involving extensive drainage efforts and specialised cultivations. Additionally, the pumping of water from affected areas adds to the financial strain. Irrigation, a crucial aspect of turf growing, demands meticulous planning and comes with a hefty price tag. Turf growers find themselves grappling with the reality that the unpredictable climate directly impacts the quality of product, and adapting to change requires significant investment.

Turf growing is fundamentally a form of farming, with an agricultural essence that extends beyond the boundaries of typical crop cycles. Unlike many other crops, turfgrass products take up to 18 months to establish before being ready for harvesting. This extended timeline introduces a level of uncertainty that makes planning stock levels a considerable challenge. One year’s conditions may vary drastically from the next, leaving turf growers with either a shortage or an excess of stock. This unpredictability can lead to fluctuating prices, creating an additional layer of stress for those in the turf industry.

Adapting to Changing Climates and the benefits of Turf Grass

As the climate undergoes significant changes, the turf industry must adapt to ensure the end user receives a high-quality product.  Turf growers are forced to invest in technologies and practices that mitigate the impact of extreme weather events. Improved irrigation systems, advanced drainage solutions, and resilient turfgrass varieties are just a few examples of the investments required to navigate the challenges posed by climate variability.

While the challenges are evident, it’s crucial to recognise the numerous benefits that turf grass brings to the environment. Turf helps in maintaining biodiversity by providing a habitat for various organisms. The intricate root systems of turf grass contribute to soil stability, preventing erosion and promoting overall soil health. Moreover, turf plays a vital role in water runoff and drainage. The dense network of grass roots absorbs rainwater, reducing surface runoff and helping to replenish groundwater supplies.

Considering these changes, it will become essential for turf users to plan ahead for successful turf installations. Unlike the traditional approach of laying turf throughout the year, it is now advisable to strategies the timing of turf installation. Allowing the turf to establish itself before the onset of summer months can significantly enhance its resilience to the challenges posed by increasingly unpredictable weather patterns.

Incorporating innovative solutions like Terracottem, a soil conditioner, can prove instrumental in ensuring the vitality of your lawn. Terracottem helps optimise soil structure, water retention and nutrient availability, providing a fortified foundation for turf to flourish even in the toughest of conditions. By adopting these proactive measures, individuals can not only enhance the durability of their lawns but also contribute to the long-term sustainability of green spaces in the face of climate change.

Climate change and the turf industry

The turf industry faces numerous challenges due to climate variability. Turf growers are on the frontline of these challenges, adapting to ensure a consistent and high-quality product for consumers. While the pressures of time, maintenance and potential loss of turf may contribute to higher prices, the industry continues to play a vital role in environmental conservation. By recognising the challenges and proactively adapting, turf growers strive to provide a resilient and sustainable product, ultimately contributing to the well-being of both landscapes and ecosystems.