Overseeding is a necessary evil for turf managers in southern and transition areas. Overseeding is “necessary” to provide the visual stimulation that the golfing public demands and is “evil” because of the extreme pressure placed on the turf manager and his budget. Nature Safe can help ease the pressure of this expensive program by providing quick seed germination and turf establishment for the overseed, yet still protect the dormant turf for spring. Here are some of the benefits to using Nature Safe during overseed:
- Low salt index – Salt can easily burn tender seedling roots. Nature Safe has an extremely low salt index allowing the seedling roots to establish quickly. Nature Safe can represent a huge decrease in applied salts versus inorganic fertility options.
- Available Phosphorus – Bone meal is an excellent source for phosphorus and calcium. The bone meal in Nature Safe is broken down and ingested by microbes found in the soil. As they die off, the minerals are made available to the plant. In this way, the phosphorus in Nature Safe is naturally chelated and will not leach or become tied up in the soil. This release happens over several weeks allowing the seedling time to develop its root system. As the seedling uses up the energy in the cotyledon, the phosphorus becomes a critical component in establishing the overseed. Phosphorus is required for almost all life functions including root development, photosynthesis, protein synthesis and metabolic reactions. The phosphorus in synthetic fertilizers can either leach with water or bind with the soil, making it unavailable to the seedling.
- Available Calcium – Calcium is needed in the development of structural components in plant cells such as the cell walls. Calcium aids in meristematic activity, essential for new seedling growth. The calcium in the bone meal is released the same way as phosphorus. The natural chelation process binds the calcium to an amino acid. This is a critical part of ensuring a good stand for your overseed. The calcium will also help leach salts out of the root zone.
- Slow Release Nitrogen – In overseeding, we want to develop both root and turf density as quickly as possible. Nature Safe stimulates root development and sideways growth by providing carbohydrates for extra energy. This energy reserve allows for tighter turf growth and quicker root development. The higher levels of carbohydrates in the tissue also help prevent desiccation and damage from freezing. Nature Safe fertilizers are 90% WIN and will release for 8-10 weeks depending on soil type, temperature, and to some degree, the analysis of Nature Safe used. Also, because of microbial breakdown, Nature Safe becomes available when the new seed is germinating. This ensures that the overseed will use the nutrients and the existing Bermuda grass will not be stimulated.
- Protection of Primary Turf – Late fall and early winter applications of Nature Safe have been shown to improve dormant turf vigor and resilience. Healthier turf will be more resistant to disease, winter damage and stress. The spring transition from the overseed turf to the dominant turf will be much smoother. The dominant turf will have the energy reserves it needs to aggressively establish roots and shoots in overtaking the overseed.
- Microbial Activity – Increased microbial populations are vital in maintaining healthy turf. Microbes suppress disease, reduce thatch, deliver broad-spectrum fertility, and increase soil porosity and water absorption while reducing compaction. Nature Safe has been shown to increase beneficial microbial populations significantly.
For all areas, it is safe to apply 1 lb of nitrogen per 1000 sq ft. For greens, it is best to apply after they have been thin cut or lightly verticut, then seeded. Apply while overseeding or up to one week before.
|Fertilizer | Rate (for 1 lb of nitrogen/1000 sq. ft. Areas | Benefits|
|NS 5-6-6 20 lb. | Greens & tees | Excellent starter fertilizer|
|NS 8-3-5 12 lb. | Greens & tees | Can use products with play|
|NS 12-2-0 Special blends | All areas | Correct soil deficiencies|
|NS 10-2-8 9 bags/acre | Fairways | All organic, higher nitrogen|
|NS 15-2-8 6 bags/acre | Fairways | Higher nitrogen using Meth-Ex|