Beneficial Microbes Are a Superintendent's Best Friend

Companion Biological Fungicide

Golf course superintendents "live and die by their greens." Fortunately, there is an effective and inexpensive way to handle the tough challenges involved in keeping greens consistently healthy and playable.

The ideal time to start using Companion is when soil temperatures reach 50 degrees Fahrenheit or above. So, if you want an easy and highly effective approach to take care of your greens and tees, now is the time to move to a new regimen. Although Bacillus subtilis is effective in an exceptionally wide range of temperatures, and can be applied even in the extreme heat of summer, by beginning in early spring you'll have full year of better greens - and a year of restful, worry-free nights!

A simple, monthly application of Growth Product's Companion Liquid Biological Fungicide and Soil Amendment will add billions of beneficial microbes to a green. The Bacillus subtilis microbes in Companion will rebalance and revitalize your soil, making it easier for your turf to uptake nutrients and easier for your turf to fend off disease.

Bacillus subtilis colonizing root hairs.

Sounds impossible? Let's look at what happens on a micro-level when beneficial bacteria such as B. subtilis are introduced into soils.

An Up-Close Look

The Bacillus subtilis ("bah-SILL-us SUH-tuh-liss") contained in Companion is the patented GB03 strain of a wide-spread, completely natural soil-dwelling bacterium. When applied to the soil, the bacteria's dormant spores immediately become active in the rhizosphere, where they colonize a plant's root hairs. There they function as "root cleaners" as they use the sugars released by roots and the carbon from dead root cells as food sources. The B. subtilis stimulate new root development and increase root branching, mass and length.

In addition, the B. subtilis acts like a flu shot to help prevent common turf diseases such as Dollar Spot, Summer Patch, Fusarium Patch, Pythium, and Phytophthora. The bacteria work by producing a broad-spectrum antibiotic and by boosting the turf's natural immune system through a phenomenon known as Induced Systemic Resistance (ISR). Plants treated with beneficial bacteria such as B. subtilis also more effectively utilize traditional chemical fungicides.


What's almost as amazing as how beneficial bacteria go about improving roots, soil, and plant health is that applying beneficial bacteria is cost-effective. Since one gallon of Companion contains 55 billion spores of Bacillus subtilis, it's easy to see why a little goes a long way.

Most of my superintendent friends keep their greens in tip-top shape by applying Companion once a month during the growing season, at a cost per application about equal to the cost of playing a round of golf at a high-end course. Factor in that superintendents who routinely use Companion often substantially reduce their costs of applying chemical fungicides, and the cost-benefit ratio looks better and better all the time.

A great example of the benefits of Bacillus subtilis and its cost-effectiveness comes from the Sanctuary Lakes Golf Course in Australia. You can read about the improvements in the course that came about as a result of using biological disease controls - and about the drastic decrease in fungicide costs once the superintendent began using Companion - by clicking here.