The Groundsman

May 2015

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AWARD SPONSOR 18 the Groundsman May 2015 Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions onventional fertiliser products solubilise in the soil water and are quickly available for uptake by the plant. This rapid availability of the entire product often means an impressive initial response, sometimes a 'flush' of growth, and then a rapid decline in both growth and colour. Long-term sustainable results can be difficult (and costly) to maintain in this way and often turf quality can suffer from this continual 'peak/trough' cycle. To enhance both efficiency and quality of results, single application controlled-release fertilisers have been widely used on winter sports pitches, and other outfield areas, to provide a consistent release of nutrients over, say, a five to six month period. This C Controlled-release nutrients for grass It is easy to think that all fertilisers deliver the required amount of nutrients to the grass plant. However, the method of delivery and how this is controlled can have a significant bearing on the quality and longevity of the result By: Alex Hawkes more predictable release helps to maintain a strong, resilient sward with good colour for the duration of the product's life. Controlled release Multigreen is an example of a unique controlled-release fertiliser mechanism that not only maximises colour and sward density over a season, but can also minimise clipping yields by providing a gentle but consistent availability of plant nutrients, as and when the plant needs them. These fertilisers feature a resin coating which has distinct qualities, allowing moisture 'in' shortly after application to the soil and nutrient 'out', once the soil temperature rises above 6°C. Once in contact with the soil, the controlled-release prill takes up water through its coating which starts to solubilise the nutrient inside. This creates a pressure within that, in time, forces nutrient solution back through the coating into the rootzone. While moisture is required for this process to take effect, excess rainfall or irrigation does not alter the amount of nutrient release. The only factor that affects release is temperature. Typically when soil temperatures fall to around 6°C pressure within the prill is too low to cause nutrient release and it will remain intact in the soil. So just around the point at which the grass begins to stop growing, release from Multigreen shuts Worcester Warriors' Sixways Stadium

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