Monday, 10 September 2012

Western Canada Growth Potential Comparison

My last post showed how the growth potential for cool season turfgrass in Western Canada was not at all like that that is commonly used. The common growth potential with peaks in spring and fall is more typical of areas like California. I have compiled the data for a number of areas in Western Canada to show what the growth potential for bentgrass looks like.

It turns out that the only place in BC or Alberta that really exhibits a slowdown in growth potential in the summer is Osoyoos. Naturally Osoyoos is the warmest and driest city in Canada.

I have always joked that Vancouver is "God's Country" and this graph just goes to prove that. Look at how long our maximum growth potential lasts. This part of the world is the perfect spot for growing cool season turf grasses.

Looking at the Banff growth potential you can see just how short of a growing season they really have. Edmonton and Calgary have longer growing seasons that Banff but they struggle to reach even 75% of the growth potential.

I have also graphed the recommended nitrogen application rates and timings for these cities based on the growth potential model.
Nitrogen rates based on a maximum nitrogen use rate of 3.5g N m2 for bentgrass.
This is pretty cool stuff. Theoretically turf managers in Edmonton could use half as much nitrogen than those in Vancouver. Even though Osoyoos has a much colder winter than Vancouver it still requires a greater nitrogen rate based on it's very warm and extended summer. A short distance north from Osoyoos in Kelowna and the nitrogen requirements are less than that of Vancouver. Interesting stuff.

Take a look at this data and compare it to what you are currently doing. I really look forward to any feedback from turf managers from Western Canada.