Whenever greens or tees are aerated, the first product that should be considered for fertility should be Nature Safe 5-6-6. This formulation is specifically designed for aeration, new construction and over seeding.
The most important reason to use 5-6-6 at aeration is the high concentration of humic acid. It contains approximately four times the amount of humic acid found in any other Nature Safe product. This humic acid is derived from the highest quality Leonardite humus and increases the Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) of the soil. That is particularly important for turf grown on sandy soils. The humic acid helps to hold nutrients and water in the sand without plugging up the pore spaces that allow for good drainage. Conversely, in heavier soils, humic acid helps bond together soil particles. This gives rise to a soft, crumbly soil structure. Humic acids also stimulate soil microorganisms that improve soil structure. Lastly, humic acids have chelating properties that increases the availability and uptake of many nutrients including phosphorus.
Turf grown on sand has a limited root system due to calcium deficiency. The roots may go down quite a way into the soil mix, but they’re not as big and bushy. Even though the percent calcium base saturation level of a sandy soil may be quite high, the CEC may be 2.0 or less.
If calcium is added to the soil in a chemical form, it subjects the stored potassium and magnesium to leaching and there is still not enough calcium available for the plants.
Nature Safe 5-6-6 contains 7% calcium from bone meal. That means for every pound of nitrogen that is applied, 1.4 pounds of calcium is applied.
This type of calcium is released in a chelated form that it does not displace the available potassium or magnesium in the soil. The result is improved root mass and healthier plants that can make better use of the nutrients and water available in the soil.
All of the phosphorus in 5-6-6 is derived from bone meal. Because it is also released in a chelated form, it is not as likely to be tied up in the soil in insoluble forms, as is the case with chemical forms of P. As a result, the phosphorus is more readily available to the plant.
The most important reason to use 5-6-6 at aeration is for the amino acids that feed the soil microbes, which in turn nourish and protect the plant. When 5-6-6 is applied at the rate of one pound of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft., a total of 6.24 pounds of readily digestible amino acids are being applied. Nature Safe 5-6-6 delivers more pounds of amino acids per pound of nitrogen than any other product we make and tremendously more than similar products manufactured by other companies. These amino acids help speed the recovery of the turf from the damage it suffers during the aeration process. The result of using 5-6-6 at aeration is a healthier denser turf with greatly improved rooting and soil structure that will help the plant survive the rigors of summer.