Superintendent: Difficult turf benefits from POWERFUL SURFACTANT, increased SOIL OXYGEN

 

Can you tell me a little about The Club at the Strand?

We are a 27-hole golf course (thestrandcc.com) that opened in North Naples, Fla. in 1998. We hosted the LPGA for three years. We have Greg Norman’s Bermudagrass wall-to-wall with FloraDwarf greens. Both of those turf grasses are very difficult to manage. In fact, I don’t think either one of them made the grade.

What is so challenging about the GN-1 and FloraDwarf grasses?

The GN-1 (GN standing for Greg Norman, the golfer who brought it to market) is a very aggressive grass and the FloraDwarf is a very week grass– it always stays on the edge. The GN-1 has actually encroached… I’ve lost more than 1/2 an acre of my greens’ size over the years.

The GN-1 also has a very unusual growth habit. It’s more of a low prostrate growth habit. That’s one of the reasons it encroaches into the greens so rapidly. A lot of grasses have a more upright growth habit whereas the GN-1 is very grainy where it will run across the surface more agressively than a lot of grasses. It’s a challenge keeping that playable for the members because we have basically older members, higher handicap and they like to scoop the ball. They don’t like to hit down on it and the GN-1 will really grab your club and twist it in your hands.

How did you first learn of Geoponics products?

A Geoponics (GeoponicsCorp.com) representative came in about three years ago and he wanted to do a surfactant (soilsurfactant.com) demonstration with his wetting agent, Penterra (Penterra.net). He told me to go out to my chemical room and pick my favorite surfactant that I use. I was really impressed. He came out with this little dropper. He had two cups with equal amounts of water and these little swatches of fabric. He put equal amounts of each surfactant–his and the one from my chemical room into each cup. The demonstration (Geoponics.TV) was amazing.

He put at least four or five drops of the surfactant I was using into one cup and just one drop of his Penterra into the other. The Penterra absorbed into his cotton patch immediatley– within a second it had dropped to the bottom of the cup, which was pretty impressive.

So, did you decide to try Penterra? How’d it work for you?

That sold me. I was injecting Penterra (Penterra.net) into my fertigation system for many, many months until the Geoponics representative finally convinced me I’d get much better results spraying it on top with my spray rigs. He was absolutlely right.

Most of my hot spots had already gone away, but once I did that… I have a lot of mounding out here and nematode issues where the grass is a little weak on top of some of the mounds. The spraying application of the Penterra made all these issues, everything go away. So for all the dry season, these areas that were typically on the edge, a little thin and weak, they basically filled in and got healthy.

So, did the demonstration and the results with Penterra encourage you to consider other Geoponics products?

Yes, definitely, and, the Geoponics representative has a great personality. He came in a lot and we kind of hit it off. So, from there I started using other products. I use the Grizzly (GrizzlyFoliars.com), including Kodiak, as well as Carbotein (Carbotein.com), HydraHawk (HydraHawk.com) and HydroGro (HydroGro.info). Just recently, the Geoponics representative introduced me to an organic fish fertilizer, FertaFlow (TheOrganicPlantFood.com), which I’ve been using.  I also use Agriox (Agriox.com).

What have you seen occur on your property with these other Geoponics products?

I just see nice color and overall plant health on the putting greens. The products I was using in the past gave similar results. These products are a better value for me overall.

Some use FertaFlow on the fairway. I’m still using it on my greens and I just started using it on some ornamental plants on the property and I’m hoping to see some improvement in flowering and overall plant health.

The Agriox (Agriox.com), the dissolved oxygen, I’ve seen the video (Geoponics.TV) where he actually meters the dissolved oxygen. That’s interesting to see because I think a lot of superintendents are very visual. There are a lot of products on the market that we kind of shy away from or are skeptical of because you dont’ see the results. When I put the Agriox down, the next day I see a phenomenal response in overall color, the plant looking healthier and that hangs on for several days. I do that in a monthly program. I’ve been using Agriox close to three years.

How is the service with Geoponics?

The representative is not overbearing. He always comes in with a smile on his face. He’s a great guy. If an order is placed, it’s delivered in a day or two.

Can we come back and look at the ornamental plants in the New Year to see how the Fertaflow is doing?

Sure, I can already tell it’s helping. We’ll see more in a couple of weeks.

Scott Davis, Superintendent

The Club at the Strand