Growth Products, Ltd: Horticulture

Play ball! - Better Turf, Better Play, and Lower Maintenance Costs with Growth Products  

March 2017

Foley Field is a much-loved college baseball stadium and the home of the University of Georgia baseball team. Two years ago, the stadium underwent a $12 million renovation that kept the field’s Southern charm intact, but brought the facility up to the high standards of a NCAA Division 1 team.

In keeping with its long-standing research focus on sports turf, the University of Georgia recently started a spray program on Foley Field featuring some of Growth Products’ most popular liquid solutions. Goals of the spray program include reducing or eliminating the number of chemical fungicide applications required on the infield and outfield, and creating a strong, well-rooted turf that stands up to heavy play during the college baseball season.

There’s No Substitute for Turf Quality

The cost-effective spray program consists of a mix of Essential Plus 1-0-1, Companion® Biological Fungicide, “TKO” Phosphite 0-29-26 and Recover Rx 3-18-18. Designed as a preventative program focused on plant health, this program has resulted in reduced fungicide applications on golf course greens and other sports turf.

  • Essential Plus 1-0-1 is a 100% organic liquid soil amendment that stimulates root growth, improves root branching, and enhances nutrient uptake. Essential’s humic acids, L-amino acids, kelp extracts, yucca exracts, complex carbohydrates and other organics work together to reduce soil compaction from heavy play, improve water penetration, reduce heat stress, and increase disease resistance.
  • Companion® Plus 1-0-1 Biological Fungicide effectively prevents and suppresses many turf diseases including Anthracnose, Brown Patch, Dollar Spot, Summer Patch, Fusarium Patch, Pythium and Phytophthora. Companion® contains Bacillus subtilis , a beneficial bacterium that attacks disease-causing microbes   and keeps turf as pathogen-free as possible. One of Growth Products' most innovative products, Companion® was the first-ever EPA registered biofungicide on the U.S. market. It can be used alone or in combination with reduced amounts of traditional chemical fungicides.
  • “TKO” Phosphite 0-29-26 provides phosphorous and potassium, both of which are critical to plant growth and development. Unlike granular phosphorus products, the foliar applied liquid phosphite in “TKO” is rapidly absorbed through turf blades, where it reduces plant stress caused by environmental extremes such as heat and drought.
  • Recover Rx 3-18-18 with Salicylic Acid is another fully organic product with multiple benefits. It stimulates root growth and boosts a plant's natural immune system. After a spray, its high concentration of Salicylic Acid (SA) – a naturally occurring phytohormone – is rapidly absorbed through leaves and quickly goes to work to enhance the turf’s ability to withstand both disease and environmental stress.
  • At Foley Field, these four products are tank-mixed then applied once every two weeks. The rate is 4 oz. each of Companion® and Essential, and 3 oz. each of TKO and Recover Rx per 1,000 square feet.

    Foley has a base of Bermudagrass, and is overseeded with Ryegrass that keeps the field a beautiful emerald green during the cooler months. It can be tricky to keep both grasses in excellent shape, but the program is equally effective on cool season and warm season turfgrasses,

    The fully organic nature of the spray program reduces chemical costs and – perhaps most important – is in sync with the growing demand from athletes, coaches, and the general public for playing fields that are not saturated with harmful chemical fungicides. Healthy, well-rooted turf is also safer for athletes in that it lowers the risk of sprained ankles, torn ligaments, concussions and other injuries. Moreover, the spray is environmentally friendly with an exceptionally low salt index and a very low Restricted Entry Interval (REI).

    Don’t Wait Until The Ninth Inning!

    This cost-effective program helps prevent and control turf fungal diseases and builds a strong and dense root mass. Foley Field’s turf managers wisely did not wait until the bottom of the ninth inning – when fungal and other turf problems were rampant -- to start the program. Instead, they started with seed germination (which the spray greatly enhances) and are continuing throughout the growing season to improve overall turf quality.