by Gabe Diaz-Saavedra, Regional Manager

If there was ever a match made in heaven for today’s southern golf course superintendent it is between Nature Safe organic fertilizers and ultradwarfs. Many superintendents have adopted primarily liquid management programs in attempting to manage their ultradwarfs and have found that their job has become less than heavenly.

What are the management challenges that superintendents face on ultra- dwarfs?

  • Very shallow root system.
  • Extremely low mowing heights make the turf susceptible to environmental challenges.
  • Heavy thatch producer.
  • Growing on sand based USGA greens with low organic matter content.
  • Very susceptible to phytotoxicity from mis-application of fertilizer.

Why is an organic like Nature Safe the perfect tool to helping superintendents in the south cope with ultradwarf challenges?

Nature Safe feeds the microbes in the soil more effectively and efficiently than any other product on the market. The microbes die releasing nutrients in a much slower more deliberate fashion than nutrients from synthetic fertilizers. This reduces the chance of flushes of growth and scalping. However, the microbes do much more than just prevent flushes of growth:

  • Microbes compete with the pathogenic organisms in the soil helping to keep these pathogenic organisms in a dormant state. When microbes are no longer being fed the pathogenic organisms awaken from their dormant state and start to wreck havoc on your greens
  • Nature Safe products contain the highest concentration of amino acids available in a commercial fertilizer. The result is an excellent food source to stimulate beneficial soil microbe populations that further improve fertility efficiency and work to decompose thatch.
  • The ingredients in Nature Safe are extremely available to the plant and result in a complete and predictable release of nutrients that increases your ability to manage your nutrition program.
  • By stimulating microbial activity in the soil you are improving porosity, which further improves nutrient and water management.

Using Nature Safe allows superintendent to leverage Mother Nature and get the natural ecosystem that exists in the green to work for them. Nature Safe has similar benefits for tees and fairways when used in a regular program.

The suggested program for Nature Safe on ultradwarfs is to use the equivalent of 1 lb. N/1,000 at aerification. Apply the product after pulling cores, but before applying the sand to ensure that the Nature Safe gets into the root zone where it will go to work hastening recovery and improving root development.

Monthly, Nature Safe should be used at a rate of .25-.5 lb. N/1,000 to provide the benefits outlined above. Use the 8-3-5 Super Fine formulation and follow the wet dry wet application procedure.

Integrating Nature Safe into an ultradwarf greens management program can pay great dividends for you. The nutrition foundation delivered by a Nature Safe program improves the efficacy and efficiency of all the quality turf management products you use and improves your results. Now that’s what I call a real match made in heaven.