Understanding Turf Needs

By Lou Newman, Regional Sales Manager

I recently had the opportunity to visit with a key account manager for a large fertilizer and chemical distributor in the Southeast. I was attending a seminar organized by the customer and was given the chance to speak to many prospective end users and spend time with the team of professional reps.

The account manager is a Nature Safe supporter and promotes it for numerous uses. He showed his product knowledge, not only of my product, but also of his large amount of other products available to him. Someone who can diagnose a problem and then use his full arsenal of products to remedy that problem reminds me of a good doctor. So, he shall be referred to as “Doc” for the rest of this story.

It seems Doc had a golf course call him and ask him to come by and take a look at a situation. He had a discoloration on his golf greens. Many spots were evidencing a purplish to reddish-purplish color on the tips and edges of the leaves. He asked Doc what he thought.

After considering a couple of different possibilities, Doc said he thought it looked like a phosphorus shortage. This is very unusual for this area, as P is readily supplied by certain substrata and can even be measured in the groundwater.

The account not only brought up these points, but he also showed Doc a fairly recent soil test that showed more than adequate levels of P. Doc examined the test and they discussed it a while. A P limitation looked like a low possibility. But Doc knows his stuff and suggested another soil test from a different lab. The lab used only measured total P, but the second could test for total P as well as available P.

The lab was able to get the results back quickly, and as Doc thought, available P was much lower than total P. Lots of things can lock up nutrients, pH, CEC, high levels of other ions, even OM. With these test results the Doc prescribed the following

  • Use a soluble P liquid feed 2-3 times. This will start a fast response cure for the existing tissue.
  • Apply Nature Safe 5-6-6. This will do two things – provide a long term solution and source of available P and stimulate microbial action which can aid in the release of some of the tied up phosphorus.
  • Start a regular feeding with 5-6-6 at fairly low rates, but applied every month, with slightly higher rates after aerations.

    Sure enough, with the liquid feed, color started to return to normal in just a couple of days. By the end of the second week, the color was back and the Nature Safe had started to release. The regular feedings and constant low level of Nature Safe have prevented the problem from returning.

The lessons from this are instructive:

  • Customer trust is important, or else Doc wouldn’t have been called in.
  • Experience and intuition convinced Doc of his diagnosis, in spite of the first test results.
  • Knowing the procedures at different labs and what the tests actually showed were key attributes.
  • Different products work in different ways and there is a use for them all.

    At Nature Safe, we make the best organic based fertilizers on the market. Period. But we believe in an integrated use of our products as well as others. We would never think you should use only Nature Safe to the exclusion of other fertilizers, but we do think you should use Nature Safe in EVERY situation where it applies. Sometimes, it’s just what the Doctor ordered!

     

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