Growth Products, Ltd: Horticulture

Say Goodbye to Frost Damage

January 2019

OsomoTech™: An effective and environmentally friendly frost protectant for golf greens.

OsmoTech™ has been used for years on agricultural crops like berries and citrus that are prone to damage from occasional frost. Only recently did Growth Products introduce the idea of using OsmoTech™ to protect golf greens from frost. The results? Not only have the greens been protected, but golfers have been able to start play much earlier in the day, which is a “win” for everyone.

What’s Behind the OsmoTech Name?

OsmoTech™ is so-named because it is an osmoprotectant – an organic molecule that helps plants and other organisms survive extreme osmotic stress such as desiccation and freezing even during prolonged freeze-thaw cycles. Many golf course superintendents are all too familiar with this type of abiotic (environmental) stress on turf, but OsmoTech™ puts some control back into their hands For one example, a prestigious, Tom Fazio re-designed course along the Southeastern seaboard largely eliminated problems associated with frost-damaged greens last year by applying a combination spray of OsmoTech™ and Growth Products’ Green Speed Si. (Green Speed Si is a proprietary mix of humic acid, silica, and potassium phosphate designed to improve ball speed on greens.)

The superintendent tank-mixed OsmoTech™ and Green Speed Si at rate of 2.5 to 3 ounces of each per 1,000 square feet. This mix was sprayed on the greens three or four times during frost season, at intervals of approximately 4 weeks. (This is the same rate recommended for drought stress, so many superintendents use this spray once a month throughout the year.

After several freeze cycles, the superintendent said that the Osmo-Tech™ / Green Speed mix “seems certainly to be warding off cold temperature effects.” He noted that the greens’ covers often had frost sticking to their undersides, but there was no frost damage on the greens themselves. Most important, greens that received the OsmoTech™ treatment remained playable and attractive throughout the winter season.

After application of OsmoTech™ and GreenSpeed Si, greens look healthy and ready to play.

Compare this with the pre-OsmoTech™ years. Back then, greens were regularly damaged by frost. Even when they were covered every night, the greens often displayed unhealthy-looking dark lines across the greens wherever the tarp had touched the turf.

Dark lines on greens that had been covered with a tarp but not sprayed with OsmoTech™, demonstrate damage

What in the Heck is in That Stuff?

By now you must be thinking that OsmoTech™ contains a powerful and concentrated chemical that requires special handling of some sort. If so, you are correct that it is powerful and concentrated. But it is a safe, fully organic liquid derived entirely from sugar beets with a smidge of Yucca added as a natural wetting agent.

As the label states, it is 22% glycine betaine. (That’s pronounced “BEET-aine” or “BEE-taine” in honor of the lowly sugar beet.) Glycine betaine not only stabilizes proteins and cell membranes to reduce damage from drought, salinity, heat and cold, but it regulates osmotic pressure and increases plants’ nutrient absorption of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and minors.

When OsmoTech is spayed on a plant’s leaf surface, its glycine betaine penetrates the leaf surface within 24 hours. It then translocates throughout the plant, extending its beneficial effects and moving macro and micro nutrients as needed. The glycine betaine typically stays mobile and active in the plant for about three weeks.

Many Uses

Whatever you are growing – from citrus to turf, from nursery ornamentals to grapes to lettuce, there is a role for OsmoTech ™. While this e-news focused solely on its frost-protection benefits, the product has many other uses as well. For pasture grasses, OsmoTech™ can improve nutrient uptake, resulting in better nutrition for cattle, sheep, llamas, and other animals. For ornamental and flower crops, OsmoTech™ can provide frost protection, protection against heat, drought protection, and protection against other abiotic stresses throughout the year.

To find out more call Growth Products toll-free at 1-800-648-7626. A representative can fill you in on the benefits of OsmoTech™ and all the other new Growth Product technologies that will get 2019 off to a great start.