Friday, February 16, 2007

Slowdown tropical turf growth and save money

While many turf managers might remember the old growth regulators..........when they wore off, the grass then grew rapidly and caught up.........some newer products are very important to cost effectively manage turf growth and sward structure.

Probably most important among them is Primo [ trinexapac-ethyl] which is sold in several forms world wide, but only as a liquid, Primo Maxx in Australia.

With grasses growing VERY rapidly in the wet and hot months in the tropics, it is possible to use one or several sprays with Primo to improve growth management. Rates that can effectively provide 4-6 weeks growth reduction are economic, with possibilities of eliminating up to four or more weekly mowings, or if mowing is required for other reasons, the clippings can be markedly reduced. Primo is most effective if cutting height is low, rather than medium or high, and mowing one week after a spray also seems to offer improvements. Technique would seem to be:
1. Allow some leaf regrowth - 2-4 days
2. Spray
4. Mow again after approx 7 days

It must be said that best results come from areas with a reasonably uniform single species turf, so often some effort into weed management is required. Rates vary depending on the turf species, with couch and zoysia requiring much less than Bahia or carpet grass.

Several factors in the sward are affected, with height reduction accompanied by a more prostrate and denser appearance common plus improved root density and growth. This can improve nutrient uptake. Often a slightly darker green appearance is seen as well. As importantly, seedhead suppression is common, and as seedheads often drive the need to mow because of appearance, this alone can be a real winner.

Mowing in wet, boggy conditions is damaging to the turf and unpleasant for staff........using a product such as Primo allows a lot more management options, and can save $$.

We have had over 12 years experience with this growth regulator and can offer management assistance to implement a cost effective program.

Contact or phone 08 8948 1894

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