The short answer is that a growth regulator slows down the vertical growth of a plant or turf while encouraging it to stick together and grow denser. Applying one saves time and reduces the amount of maintenance required while improving the plant’s appearance and quality. If you think your lawn may need regulation, there is plenty of information below that summarizes the technical details, and should make your decision to use one easier.
A plant growth regulator is a natural or synthetic product that is designed to mimic hormones and compounds within plants in an effort to control a plant’s growth characteristics, either by promoting or suppressing growth. Plants require these compounds to control their growth just as much as they require water, light, and nutrients.
Growth regulators can suppress shoot growth, increase the formation of leaves and branches, or control the amount and maturity rate of flowering and fruit production. The effectiveness of the applied compound depends upon the dosage used and how well it is absorbed by the plant. Other factors that contribute to good results include the age and health of the plant, the timing of the application, and the weather.
A turf growth regulator works by inhibiting gibberellin biosynthesis. Gibberellin is a hormone needed for cell elongation and other development processes like shoot growth and dormancy. Limiting gibberellin production in turf will slow the grass’ vertical growth and keep it short. The turf growth regulator is quickly absorbed by the grass blades and is immediately rain fast, meaning it won’t wash off grass blades easily.
Although saving yourself time and effort is the main advantage of a growth regulator, there are a few other advantages offered if you choose to use one:
Using a growth regular is an excellent way to get a gorgeous lawn that is easy to care for.
A plant growth regulator is not a weed control or disease control product, but the timing of the application produces similar results to our Round 2 Spring Weed Control Service, so they can be combined into one treatment mix. Adding these services together is a simple way to make the application more effective. Growth Regulators affect certain weeds in the same way they do turf and other plants, slowing weed growth, and making them less noticeable and troublesome.
Since a Growth Regulator slows lawn growth rates, you must adjust your mowing schedule to compensate. When mowing your lawn, you should follow the one-third rule, which means you should not remove more than one-third of the leaf tissue when you mow. If you are trying to grow grass at two inches high, don’t let it grow taller than three inches before mowing or trimming. Or, if you are growing tall fescue at three inches high, don’t let it grow taller than four and a half inches before you mow, and so on.
During the springtime when the grass is growing very rapidly, you might have to mow your lawn every three to five days to ensure the clippings are under that one-third rule and that they are easily dispersed back onto the lawn. Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t have the time or ability to mow more than once a week, which is where a PGR comes in. Applying a PGR means you can relax your mowing schedule slightly, though it is still recommended that you mow once every week.
A PGR application makes it easier to manage lawn clippings when mowing. If you can, you should recycle your clippings back into the lawn, which will save you time, reduce clipping waste, and help keep your lawn looking tidy and vibrant.
A standard TGR application will create shorter, darker green grass blades and will also make the lawn thicker and denser with deeper roots. It will help the lawn use less water and its effects last about four to seven weeks, depending upon the weather. It should be noted that warmer weather shortens the effects. You should notice a significant reduction in clipping yield after you mow next.
The application process is simple but requires you to follow a few recommendations to achieve the desired results. Most PGRs compounds are mixed with water and added to a hand-held sprayer. Boom sprayers or a professional application might be best for larger areas. While you can apply the PGR yourself with a handheld sprayer, application accuracy and uniformity is a must. And this application is best left to professionals with professional equipment. Always follow the instructions on your selected product.
Like most lawn applications, pets and people are free to use the lawn without worry once the product has dried on the grass blades.
Only the plants that are directly sprayed with the growth regulator will be affected. Make sure you apply an even application to the entire desired area to avoid uneven grass growth. It’s best to spray on a calm day when there is no wind to interfere and blow the mixture onto other plants.
Timing is another important factor to consider. Spray PGRs on healthy turf and plants before harsh seasonal conditions diminish their strength and energy reserves. Make certain to check your lawn for damage before applying a PGR. If you detect any damage from insects or diseases, correct the issue before applying the compound. Slowing the growth of an unhealthy plant makes it more difficult for it to recover.
Plant and turf growth regulators can be used on your lawn, trees and shrubs, and other ornamental plants. Applications should be used only on healthy plants for the best results. PGR compounds support the root structure of plants while controlling the amount of growth, so you can limit the maintenance required to get a healthy and beautiful lawn.
We hope you enjoyed this post about the many benefits of using a growth regulator on your lawn. If mowing less and improving your lawns overall health is music to your ears, RYAN is always here to help!
Get a Free Estimate today for help with your lawn growth regulator treatment needs by a RYAN lawn care expert!