Zinc is important for cell elongation, sugar consumption and uniform growth. Turf which is deficient in zinc is withered and has mottled leaves. High levels of phosphate in the soil can interfere with zinc uptake.
Golf or bowling greens which are high in Zinc; can have problems with the lock up of various nutrients especially iron. Application of seaweed and humic acid products can help to reduce the level by increasing the cation exchange capacity.
Manganese is important for nitrogen uptake, activation of enzymes, and photosynthesis. It may also play a part in protecting the turf from disease. Deficiency symptoms include spotted or mottled leaves. Manganese is often deficient in sandy soils, and is most available at pH 6, but high pH reduces its availability greatly.
If manganese is in short supply it is often worthwhile to apply a manganese supplement to help with vigour and disease control.
Copper is essential for chlorophyll production and the correct operation of photosynthesis. It also acts as an enzyme activator. Deficient turf has stunted withered leaves with often a dark blue/green colour, and dead or brown spots.
Iron is necessary for chlorophyll formation, good colour, and resistance to disease. Since iron is very widely use for cosmetic greening, it is unusual to find any deficient turf, but symptoms can include yellowing, spindly leaves. Most golf courses and bowling greens have a high level of iron in the soil because of historic usage. This can lead to lock up of potassium and phosphorus and has the tendency to promote black layer when high levels of sulphur are present. The high iron levels are likely to be resistant to change; however it is possible to use a specialist wetting agent to release the locked in iron and flush it out of the soil profile. The reduction in iron levels can also be helped by reducing the amount of iron applied to the turf.
Boron aids in shoot and root growth by assisting in the control of hormones and the translocation of sugars around the plant. Turf, which is deficient in boron, is stunted with discoloured leaves and cracked roots.
Regular soil analysis and careful monitoring are the key to making sound management decisions and producing sustainable, durable high quality playing surfaces.