Monday, June 18, 2012
Why The Greener Greens
Turfgrass managers use an almost infinite number of tools at their disposal to protect and maintain their putting greens. While aeration, sand topdressing, and properly used fungicides are examples of tools that are recognized by most golfers, less common tools are not as easily observed by golf course patrons. The picture of the 9th putting green on the White Nine provides an example of one such practice. If you look carefully, you will notice that the right half of the green is much darker in appearance than the left side of the green. At the time the photograph was taken, only half of the green had been sprayed. In addition to our usual application of fungicides, growth regulators, fertilizers, and bio stimulants, a turfgrass pigment was also added.
We initially discovered the benefits associated with turf pigments when applying fungicides to fairways in the late fall to prevent snow mold. The particular fungicide that was applied came pre-mixed with a turfgrass pigment. We realized the benefits of the pigment in the early spring of the following year. Due to the darker color of the fairway following the application of the pigment, the fairways greened up much earlier than normal. We believe this occurred due to the warmer canopy temperature afforded by increased solar radiation adsorption due to the darker colored turf. Often times, we will apply pigments early and late in the season to promote turfgrass growth.
Additionally we will apply products containing pigments or add pigments when spraying greens in the summer. In summer time, the pigment acts as a sunscreen, shielding the turf from intense solar radiation. Temporarily following the application, the putting surfaces take on a vibrant green color.