Mitigating Cart Damage
As if there is not enough stress on your turf throughout the season, cart damage can be that thorn in your side you could do without. Like the weather, it is unavoidable. However, there are ways to mitigate the wear and damage.
Cultural practices are key in this area. Having barriers such as ropes, stakes, and signs may help spread the traffic and in most situations alleviate 80% of your problem. But there are inevitably those problem areas that seem to have no solution. In this case, you treat it like another stressor. Set it up for the best possible outcome by looking at moisture, soil structure, and fertility.
Adding an irrigation head or installing drainage can help turf, but if that sort of infrastructure is not feasible, applications of wetting agents can help keep turf alive. Using a granular product such as Vivax or spraying one of the new Hydro-Pak products (Infiltrip, Percolate, or Aqueous) will improve turf health and appearance, especially if you have not treated these areas before.
Turf struggles from the wear and compaction of traffic, so aeration is your best friend in the short term. But the long term has a different approach. Think about using an organic-based fertilizer each season going forward to help “cushion” the soil and add some structure where your roots grow.
Stressed turf can use a little more nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. To keep it simple, consider extending your tee or green program area to include problem traffic areas. Just 1% of extra material and effort can pay big dividends in the health and look of the perennial battle against cart damage.
Other Traffic Damage
Along with cart traffic damage, foot traffic and pull cart wear on can become unsightly as well. Another strategy is to give the plant a literal “cushion” from the inside.
We carry a concentrated silicon product that does an excellent job of mitigating traffic damage: Foliar-Pak CSi L. As one of the most concentrated liquid silicon products on the market, CSi L has 25% silicon dioxide by weight. It is derived from silicic acid and forms a low molecular weight silica polymer.
CSi L is paired with a specific amino acid that acts as an osmolyte in the plant and helps keep water in the cell, creating optimal turgor pressure and rigidity in the turf. Unlike other silicon products on the market, Foliar-Pak CSi L is tank-mix compatible with a variety of other products as it is built to not interact with other molecules in the spray tank.
Due to its small molecular weight and size, CSi L moves through the foliage very easily. It can help traffic-stressed turf stand back up as quickly as overnight. Silicon delivered from CSi L increases plant turgidity and results in more upright growth, smoother surfaces, better green speed, and better wear tolerance.
Ask your sales rep about CSi L, wetting agents, and other solutions to help mitigate cart damage on your course.