Go Granular on Sports Turf This Summer
There’s no question that athletic fields take a beating. Outpacing the damage caused by athletes’ traffic is the constant battle of all sports turf managers from the professional to the recreational level. It has long been the holistic approach in sports turf management to anticipate and alleviate as many stressors to the turfgrass plants as possible so that the sward can regenerate and recover after the abrasive and shearing effects of foot traffic.
However, many sports turf managers overlook two opportunities to alleviate turfgrass stressors because they run a granular program and do not have equipment for spray applications. Fungicides and wetting agents are excellent tools for managing turfgrass stressors that definitely fit into a granular program and can be more widely utilized to help managers through the tough summer months.
Pushing turfgrass to recover and outgrow traffic injury requires the application of fertilizer and additional irrigation water. During the hot and humid conditions of summer, this often means we create an environment that is favorable for disease outbreaks. ArmorTech ZOXY-PG and BASF Pillar G Intrinsic Brand Fungicide are two granular formulations that offer excellent broad-spectrum control of the toughest summer sports turf diseases.
Using a combination of QOL (Frac code 11) and DMI (Frac code 3) active ingredients, these fungicides protect against common diseases like dollar spot and brown patch as well as gray leaf spot and Pythium which can quickly devastate a stand of turf. Along with active ingredients targeting those and many other diseases, the preventive application interval of 28 days allows managers a long window of protection.
Tools to improve water management are especially helpful on sports turf during the summer. Plants naturally lose root mass during periods of high soil temperatures, and compaction of native soil is a cumulative condition that impedes both root growth and water movement through the profile. Precision Laboratories Vivax 10G is a granular formulation that combines four surfactant technologies to quickly move irrigation or rainwater off the playing surface and evenly penetrate the root zone. Applications can stretch 21 to 30 days, so managers reap the water management benefits of Vivax 10G without a significant amount of labor input.
Along with turfgrass areas, skinned infields can also benefit from wetting agents during the summer months. High temperatures and drying sun can make it almost impossible to keep enough water in the skin leaving hard or dusty conditions. Precision Laboratories In-Flow is a granular soil conditioner and surfactant designed especially for infield skins that influences water’s ability to flow into and throughout the profile. With the help of In-Flow, managers can use less water to achieve optimal playing conditions.
Go Granular This Summer
It takes every tool in the shed to keep up with the demands placed on athletic fields. Granular fungicides and wetting agents are tailored to meet summer sports turf challenges and give managers an advantage moving into the fall season.
Be sure to reach out to your ATS sports turf specialist to plan your summer strategy!
Rebecca Auchter, CSFM
Sports Turf Specialist