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Meet Renata Mundim

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I have always loved nature. Growing up in a rural area in Brazil, plants have become a big part of my life.

I became a qualified Biologist at the age of 21 and then moved to the US where I could work and continue my studies. I then had the opportunity to take a course in Golf Course Management, learning more about turf was a big game changer in my professional career.

For the past ten years I have then been involved in the Turf Industry. I have taken several educational courses in this area, worked with field research and finished a Master’s Degree in Horticulture and Crop Science at The Ohio State University.

As a Business Development Assistant at Bernhard, I am now able to mix my knowledge in plants with my passion for marketing through this blog.

The Importance of Lighting Rigs

Posted on May 23, 2018 at 11:00 AM

I am sure you have lost count of how many times you have heard that you must keep your plants close to the window. And we all know that the reason for that is sunlight being essential for photosynthesis. The problem is that sunlight is not always available. Neither indoors or outdoors. So, let’s change the sentence for “light is essential for photosynthesis”. Technology has provided us with light to grow plants and made it possible to have healthy plants even in the darkest places on earth.

Grass is a long day plant and depending on the species it may need more than six hours of direct light a day. If not, the Calvin Cycle being dependent on a supply of energy, photosynthesis will stop. Eventually the plant will use up all of its available glucose, affecting the Krebs cycle, forming ATP through cellular respiration. Okay, maybe we are getting too scientific here. Let’s just say that without the necessary amount of light turf will end up very thin, yellow-brownish, weak, and will occasionally die.

The problem is much more common than you can imagine and occurs in sports fields all over the world. Golf courses must deal with shade from trees, topography, houses. Stadiums have high stands surrounding the pitch. Several factors that prevents light to reach the turf even on the brightest days.

To deal with the damage caused by the lack of light it becomes necessary to appeal on chemicals. Use more fertilizers, growth regulators and anything else that could help recover the grass. A lot of money spent that wouldn’t solve the problem itself.

Good to know that turf lighting needs can be easily managed and supplied with “turf lighting rigs”. Greenhouses have been using this kind of technology for decades and it has revolutionized indoors plant growth to the point that you can now eat strawberries cultivated in Norway all year long. So, it was time to improve light technology to use in large scales such as golf courses.

Lighting rigs provide the plant with PAR, that stands for photosynthetically active radiation, and refers to all the wavelengths of light between 400 nm (violet, blue) and 700 nm (deep red), which is exactly the kind of light/energy the grass needs. HPS lamps also provide radiation heat. The balance between soil temperature, air temperature and the PAR light is the most important factor in growth yield and plant health.

Supplemental lights are able to distribute optimal light intensity, increasing soil profile temperature up to 3 degrees, stimulating growth and resulting in a stronger root system, healthier grass with better year-round playability. Just through light, you will prevent shade and wear turf problems and considerably reduce the use of irrigation, chemical applications and resources for recovering. An economical, sustainable, green and healthy solution!