Chad Malone, Superintendent, Moccasin Bend Golf Club, Chattanooga, TN, experienced a significant response from Nature Safe while growing-in his USGA bentgrass greens this past summer/fall. Chad attributes this noteworthy response to the spring aeration application of Nature Safe 5-6-6.
“I also used NS 5-6-6 at seeding and was playing on my Crenshaw greens in six weeks,” said Chad. “The Nature Safe is a key reason the bentgrass grew-in so quickly. I think this program is valuable to sales reps that recommend programs for grow-ins.”
Chad made his first application to the greens after they were filled with a sand/peat mix and floated. He used NS 5-6-6 at a rate of 18 lbs. of fertilizer per 1,000 sq. ft. at planting, mixing the Nature Safe with the seed. The seed went down on September 8. The greens were played on October 19. “I had so much confidence in the playability and durability of the greens that I left for a trip to New York City the day after I opened the greens for play.”
Once seeded, Chad began a weekly fertilizer application of 10-21-18 and 17-14-14, rotating the formulations weekly. The applications started with 1 lb. N/1,000 sq. ft. Once the bentgrass was established (about five weeks after seeding), the formulation was reduced to .5 lb. N/1,000 sq. ft. The 17-14-14 blend is NS 13-0-0 blending base. Chad used a total of 5 lbs. N in the six weeks from planting to playing.
Chad also had Steve Ellis incorporate NS 13-0-0 blending base into his greens mix. The NS 13-0-0 replaced Milorganite because the food sources in Nature Safe are more readily digestible and available to the plant.
“One of the challenges that I thought I’d see from the Nature Safe application is a lot of puffiness. Instead, I found the grass firm,” stated Chad. “I also suggest the use of a good fungicide program on any young seeding to prevent fungus from wrecking havoc. I will be reseeding more greens this summer and will use Nature Safe in the pre-plant and post-emergence fertility programs.”
This quick grow-in response has been experienced by other superintendents in the Southeastern U.S. and demonstrates why Nature Safe should be considered every time you put together a grow-in fertilizer program.