Calcium Products - Displaying items by tag: turf

Calcium Products - Displaying items by tag: turf

World Cup on artificial turf?

In a press release from the World Cup last week, artificial turf took the spotlight away from natural grass in a sport that has been pro-natural grass made up of players that strongly prefer a natural surface an artificial one.

Although second generation artificial fields have distinct advantages over their ‘astro’ predecessors, many soccer players feel the ball doesn’t roll and bounce as they’ve come to expect it to on natural grass, which changes the game in a negative way. Also, there is a lot of sliding in soccer games and artificial fields don’t ‘give’ as much in that regard, which can be annoying to players trying to maintain a consistent style of play.

Abby Wambach, whose name is likely familiar and strongly associated with soccer in most of our minds, stepped into the spotlight to give her opinions on why she thinks playing the 2015 World Cup on artificial turf would be detrimental to the game. It’s worth a read.

Read more...

An update on the Iowa State University recreational soccer project

In the fall of 2012, I was still working part time with Iowa State and the newly seeded athletic fields built the previous year were in need of attention for weak, spotty growth. Dr. Dave Minner, myself, and Brent Cunningham (of rec services at ISU) all went over what took place during field construction (an outside contractor built the fields) to try and determine why the newly seeded grass wasn’t growing like it should. The one thing that stuck out to us was the use of compost from the ISU dairy farms that hadn’t been tested prior to application. Using compost is a great way to build soil structure and organic matter, however, if it isn’t completely composted, it can contain high levels of soluble salts harmful to turfgrass growth.

We took a handful of soil samples and sure enough, there were high levels of K, Mg and Na, some of which can hinder plant growth if in high enough amounts. Further, if Mg is found in high enough amounts (> 12%), it can have negative, dispersive impacts on soil due to molecular differences when compared with Ca. We think of Ca as the main building block and Mg as a secondary structural component, required in much lesser amounts.

I was also working part time with Calcium Products during this time knew this field would be a perfect fit for a SuperCal SO4 pelletized gypsum application to reduce the levels of K, Na and Mg in the soil, restore proper cation balance and allow the harmful salts to be leached out. Calcium Products donated gypsum to the school to be applied at a rate of 10 lbs/1000 sq ft. to the two fields.

Recently I was able to visit ISU to see how the fields were progressing after the SO4 was applied this spring. Brent has been very happy with how the fields have progressed after the SO4 application and a modification to his fertility program, which included mostly nitrogen applications since other nutrients were in sufficient amounts, according to our soil tests. I almost couldn’t believe they were the same fields I was on last fall!

Thanks to Brent for cooperating with us on this project. We will take soil samples again this fall and see how the soil chemistry is progressing and likely continue with maintenance applications of SuperCal SO4 in the coming years. Take a look at some photos ‘before’ and ‘after’ the SuperCal SO4 application and modification of fertility.

poor grass growth at ISU Fig. 1. A picture taken 6/13/12 showing more spotty growth and areas with no grass growing.

lush turf at ISU from SuperCal SO4
Fig. 2. A picture taken one year after the previous picture, 6/26/13, showing healthy, lush turfgrass, almost ready for play.
beautiful turf from SuperCalSo4
Fig. 3. A picture taken 7/11/13 showing how healthy the grass looks, thanks to the SuperCal SO4 application and modified fertility program.
Read more...

Turfgrass seed head production

The time of year is upon us when your turf starts to take on a brownish cast due to seed head production. The driving purpose of most plants is to perpetuate their species by reproduction and each year, grasses will attempt to put out a seed head for just that purpose.

Why does turf look so brown and straw-like during seed head production? Because the plant is reallocating resources toward reproduction and taking a large majority of the carbohydrates  normally put toward shoot and root growth away. Also, seed head stalks have a completely different texture than the leaf blades you normally mow, which is what results in that straw-like, brownish-tan appearance.

In the upper midwest, we are already mostly past the time for Kentucky bluegrass to produce seed heads, but the ryegrass period is upon us now in most areas or just around the corner. Perennial ryegrass has much thicker seed head stalks and therefore, will look even rougher after mowing than does Kentucky bluegrass. If you want to minimize this appearance in your turf, it’s important to stay on top of your mowing regimen and not allow the plant to fully ‘go to seed,’ which will result in an even rougher appearance. But, you can never fully keep the grass plant from trying to produce a seed head… Or can you?

I was out at the Iowa State University Horticulture Research station meeting with Dan Strey, the turfgrass research superintendent, the other day and he pointed out one of my old research projects to me where two different levels of fertility were applied in strips for at least 4 years. The two rates of nitrogen making up these strips had always looked different with regard to color, but now there is a distinct difference in seed head production. One strip was full of seed heads as you would normally expect, while the other had virtually no seed heads in it. My memory indicated that the higher fertility level were the strips that had no seed heads in them and I confirmed it after getting back to the office and looking at the old plot plan. Take a look at this photograph:

turf strips

The whitish looking strip on the left is full of seed heads and received 0.5 lbs of N per month during the growing season for a total of 3.5 lbs N per year. The greener looking strip received 1.0 lbs of N per month during the growing season for a total of 7.0 lbs N per year. The other interesting thing to note is that urea was the source of nitrogen and it has been over a year since these applications were made, yet the differences are still drastic. Normally urea is thought of as a ‘flash in the pan’ type fertilizer, but there a few studies I did at Iowa State that showed it to be much longer lasting than previously thought, especially when the bank of nitrogen was built up over the course of a year or more.

The reason the seed head production was lower with the higher rate of nitrogen is that when nitrogen is supplied in excess, the plant allocates the nitrogen into shoot growth (and some root growth) and delays maturation of the plant. Essentially, the additional nitrogen keeps the plant doing what it would do at a juvenile stage while working its way up to reproduction. Obviously, the cost of applying this much nitrogen and the potential leaching of it into groundwater isn’t enough to offset dealing with seed heads in your turf, but I just found it interesting that it is possible to delay certain physiological events in the plant’s life by modifying the amount of nitrogen it receives. With all that said, the plant will eventually make its way to reproduction, so don’t get any ideas about totally doing away with seed head production. I will have Dan continue to monitor the situation and report back when the higher nitrogen areas start to produce seed heads.

Read more...

Growing golf – hope springs eternal

Depending on whom you ask, the official arrival of spring begins either on March 1 (meteorological spring), March 21 (astronomical spring) or Monday to kick off the start of Masters week (golfers’ spring).

There is no tradition like the Masters Golf Tournament and if you are in the golf business you know what I mean. The membership at Augusta National Golf Club hosts the greatest event in all of sport, in my humble opinion. They do some unique things such as referring to ticket holders as “patrons,” price the concessions so inexpensive that the first time you visit The Masters as a patron you have to ask are you sure the price is right? A classic Coke cost $1.50 and a pimento cheese or ham sandwich costs only $1.50. Parking is FREE, and the grounds are manicured to perfection, leaving no stone unturned, no blade of grass out of place. It is a very spiritual place.

During yesterday’s Chairman’s Press Conference, Billy Payne, Masters Chairman, was asked about a rule in golf. He simply deferred answering the question by stating Augusta National is just a golf club that happens to host a well-known tournament, it wouldn’t be prudent to make golf policy decisions. In their own way, in an unassuming way, Augusta National and their leadership knows they are more than “just a golf club hosting a well-known tournament.” They are the most powerful golf body in the world. What Augusta National does, it is likely others will follow.

One of the tenets of the PGA of America is to grow the game of golf. As a PGA member for over 10 years I can tell you growing the game is the future of golf. While we, as PGA professionals, have always had strong initiatives to grow the game, the PGA of America, in my opinion, has fallen short.

What Payne announced Monday and re-iterated yesterday in his Chairman’s press conference was that if Augusta National wants to grow the game of golf and do it in an exciting way, they can do it. It was announced in partnership with the USGA and the PGA of America, Augusta National created a competition for junior golfers to introduce and inspire a new generation of golfers. The competition is the National Championship of the Drive, Pitch and Putt competition with the finals at Augusta National Golf Club on the Sunday before tournament week.

There have been a lot of growing the game initiatives, and they have been pretty successful, but if I know Augusta National like I think I do, this new competition is going to inspire, introduce and invigorate a new generation of golfers. Well done, Chairman Payne, well done!

Read more...

Brian Milam, Territory Sales Manager | Turf, Eastern U.S.

Brian joined the Calcium Products team in 2009 charged with growing the company’s professional turf business. Prior to starting with Calcium Products, Brian was a golf professional for the first 11 years of his career. Most recently, he worked for two years as a store manager and director of instruction at GolfTEC. The first nine years of his career was with Kohler Company working as a golf professional at Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. While with Kohler, Brian contributed to the successful execution of the 1998 U.S. Women’s Open, the 2001 PGA Club Professional Championship and the 2004 PGA Championship. Brian graduated with two bachelor’s degrees, professional golf management and marketing, from Mississippi State University in 1998.

Read more...

Endurance Sand

Endurance Sand

BunkerSand-white-hero

  • White color provides a true professional look
  • Consistent texture
  • Consistent quality
  • Consistent playability
  • Sub-angular shape conforms and adheres to bunker slopes
  • Sized to provide firm ball support
  • Extremely high infiltration rate
  • Low-crusting surface requires less raking
  •      
    Endurance Sand Information Sheet

 

Read more...

Great White Bunker Sand

Great White Bunker Sand

BunkerSand-white-hero

  • White color provides a true professional look
  • Consistent texture
  • Consistent playability
  • Sub-angular shape conforms and adheres to bunker slopes
  • Sized to provide firm ball support
  • Quick draining to eliminate ponding
  • Meets USGA particle size recommendations for greens
  • Meets USGA Tour specifications
  •      
    Great White Bunker Sand Information Sheet

 

Read more...

Bunker Sand

When selecting bunker sand for your course, perhaps nothing matters more than purity, but non-manufactured and unwashed sands can contain nematodes, clay and other potentially hazardous items. Calcium Products' bunker sands come from one of the purest limestone mines in the nation. Our sands are also superior in the vital areas of color, size, shape, and playability. Our color rating is white when dry and very pale brown when wet, giving your course that 'wow' factor. Our particle size is ideal for water infiltration, resulting in far-better drainage after rain events. Our sands are naturally-derived, not rounded, so they won't blow or drift away. Playability is also a key factor, and our bunker sand has consistently high ratings for avoiding fried-egg lies and buried balls, providing ideal conditions for the amateur golfer. See our calculator below to determine whether Great White or Endurance is right for your course.

Read more...

98G for Turf

For soils in need of increased pH, the pelletized lime in 98G provides faster, more consistent results than other lime products. 98G is 98% pure calcitic limestone, the finest on the planet. It is ground ultra-fine for maximum effectiveness then pelletized for efficiency. 98G won't blow away as many other lime products will, and can be easily mixed and applied with other fertilizers. Because 98G breaks down immediately and completely, results are seen the first year.


Find A Dealer

98G Articles

Read more...

Triplicity for Turf

Triplicity is a triple-activated calcium fertilizer that increases root growth and nutrient uptake in turf. It adds vital calcium to the soil and manages pH in acidic soils. Soil condition is improved as beneficial microorganism growth is stimulated and nutrient availability is increased. We highly recommend a complete soil test to determine your soil's current nutrient levels be administered before using Triplicity.


Find A Dealer

Triplicity Test Plot Results

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed