On the headwaters of the May River, a tidal estuary in the lowcountry of South Carolina, lies the May River Golf Club at Palmetto Bluff. Chris Johnson is Superintendent of this Sea Isle 1 Paspalum with Champion greens golf course.

The course had been grassed in 2003. In 2005, Chris realized that the Paspalum was not as vigorous or stress resistant as he would like. He was using slow release forms of N in his applications and decided to research the use of organics. Chris turned to Ned Mullis of Harrell’s Fertilizer with some interest in Nature Safe products as a possible solution.

One of the possibilities that Ned and Chris worked on was the use of a slow release organic that would feed his greens and fairways even in the dead of winter when soil temperatures can dip into the 40s. Because of the high amino acid content Nature Safe continues to work as soil temperatures drop. Other organics need to have soil temperatures in the 50s.

Ned suggested a program that incorporates Nature Safe 8-3-5 on the Champion greens and 8-5-5 on the fairways at a rate of ½ lb. N every eight weeks.

The Champion greens like to be slowly fed. Too much N from any source causes the grass to be less stress tolerant. While incorporating 8-3-5 into his base fertility on greens and supplementing with a soluble fertilizer program, Chris has seen much less of a challenge from summer stress caused by the heat and humidity that plague coastal SC in the summer.

Chris and Ned came up with a custom fairway application that Harrell’s manufactures. A one ton blend includes 1,000 lbs. of Nature Safe 13-0-0 and blended with Muraite of Potash and minors. This provides Chris with a 6-0-24 formulation, which has improved the vigor and stress tolerance of his Paspalum. This 1:4 balance of N:K is important in ensuring strong root development while providing enough N to promote a durable canopy.

“Nature Safe has been part of the puzzle that has improved consistency and quality in my grasses,” said Chris.

If you are looking for a program for Paspalum, Nature Safe is an excellent choice to incorporate into a total fertility program.