Soil Oxygen and All Natural Plant Fertility is Extremely Important to Cool Season Grasses Says Golf Course Superintendent
How were you first introduced to Geoponics?
It was 6 or 7 years ago when I was working as a superintendent at a big operation in Greensboro, NC (Grandover Resort & Golf) which had bought the Agriox product for its courses. Honestly, I didn’t know much about what it was meant to do at that point, not the way I do now, so my evaluation was entirely based on what I saw rather than what I was told. After putting it out a few times, the best way I can describe it would be to say that the turf responded as though it had been refurbished, like fresh life had been breathed into it.
That is a perfect way to think about it considering it’s a soil oxygenator, right?
Exactly. These last few years I’ve gained a much more complete understanding of what it does, how it slowly releases oxygen into soil moisture. I can tell you when growing bentgrass in an extreme environment with high temperatures and humidity like we have here (Florence, SC) that can make all the difference.
Obviously you don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you start losing turf, because it is very difficult under stressful summer conditions to get it back, so if used as a preventative measure Agriox can really be a high priority tool in your shed. It has become that for me; I go out with monthly maintenance applications all season long, and I feel it is well worth every penny.
When you spray Agriox, which wetting agent do you use and why? (www.SoilSurfactant.com)
We always use it with some combination of the Geoponics products. Conditions are constantly changing out on the course, so you have to be quick to adapt and modify what you are doing. For me that means going out regularly and tweaking the mix ratio between the two surfactants depending on whether we want to move excess water through with Penterra (Penterra.net) or hold more moisture up in the root zone with Humawet (Humawet.com).
One area where that particular product has given me an edge is with sod installations; it’s great for keeping the roots from drying out before they’ve had a chance to take hold. With budgets the way they’ve been the last few years, I appreciate their low rates and cost per acre as well.
Offering value is what we’ve set out to do as a company, so I’m glad to hear that. Cost has always been a big concern, but it seems like superintendents are more price conscious than ever. Have your purchasing decisions changed?
When you have your routine, you get kinda set in your ways and settle into a comfort zone. I’m probably as guilty of it as anyone, but these days you have to be careful with every dollar; you have no choice. No one has more money to spend than they did the last year, so you have to look for ways to save.
We use a lot of different brands, there are some products I am always going to use, but it has been well worth my time to have sat down with my Geoponics rep to learn about the line. I’ve ended up using a number of the Grizzly foliars (www.GrizzlyFoliars.com) as a result and have seen nice steady growth from them.
Which formulas have you used, and would you say you had a favorite?
The Carbotein (www.Carbotein.com) has definitely become my favorite. It is so inexpensive that I put it in almost every tank, and I’ve applied it to almost everything around the course. It’s definitely one of the most effective fertilizers I have in my arsenal.
We’ve been told by many users that combining it with non-organic macro-fertilizers causes both products to perform better than they do on their own…
It mixes really well, and having used it with other foliars so often, I would say that I’ve noticed that myself.
Our customers commonly single Carbotein out among the nutritionals. Aside from its affordability, what do you think makes it so special?
My greens are pretty small, so my edges take a beating. I’ve steadily increased Carbotein (Carbotein.com) applications there and in other areas where we get the most damage, like walk-ons and where the mowing patterns are constrained, and over the years the turf just keeps getting better and better, more full and wear resistant. I believe it’s all the plant extracts and amino acids helping the plant with photosynthesis that sets it apart from everything else. I’ve seen it do some amazing things on flowers too.
We get told that about the flowers a lot. In fact, we often end up bringing a case for the superintendent and one for their horticulturalist once it gets tried out on the ornamentals around a course. Thank you so much for talking with us today. If a fellow superintendent wanted to discuss your experiences with you directly, would that be alright?
Sure, I’d be happy to talk with anyone about the company. As I said earlier, the time it takes to sit down and learn about Geoponics is time well spent since the products are absolutely worth the money.
Jeremiah Pierce, Superintendent
Florence Country Club