Greenmaster Pro-Lite optimizes winter sports pitch recovery

Winter sports field recovery trial completed at a football club in northern England

North England

Key Conclusions

  • Six conventional release mini-granule products with different nitrogen content and forms were applied once at 30g/m2.
  • All products supplied nitrogen and iron to the sward with also varying amounts of potassium and magnesium, but the turf response (quality, color and NDVI) was most closely related to the nitrogen rate and type.
  • The combinations of urea and ammonium as conventionally released nitrogen performed better than a product containing methylene urea delivering a higher total N.

Objective

On a weekly basis assess the turf color and quality (assessed visually on a 1-10 scale), and measure NDVI (Greenseeker handheld meter).

Trial Details

Trial station

North England

Product

Greenmaster Pro-Lite

Assessments

colour, quality, NDVI

Treatments

A sports pitch trial was completed at a football club in North England on an existing Lolium perenne sward established on professional sand-based rootzone. Six fertilizers and a control treatment (no fertilizer) were laid out in a randomized block trial with 4 replications. All fertilizers were applied at a recommended rate of 30g/m2 at the trial start which delivered a range of nutrient inputs with nitrogen rate and form being the key focus (as noted in treatments section below).

Treatments

A sports pitch trial was completed at a football club in North England on an existing Lolium perenne sward established on professional sand-based rootzone. Six fertilizers and a control treatment (no fertilizer) were laid out in a randomized block trial with 4 replications. All fertilizers were applied at a recommended rate of 30g/m2 at the trial start which delivered a range of nutrient inputs with nitrogen rate and form being the key focus (as noted in treatments section below).

Results

The trial ran for 10 weeks from 4th February to 18th April.

Trial plot at setup

Trial Setup – 1st February

Trial plot at week 2

Week 2 – 12th February

Trial plot at week 4

Week 4 – 23rd February

Trial plot at week 7

Week 7 – 16th March

 

The different fertilizer treatments generated significantly (p<0.05) different turf color and quality responses which lasted
for the whole 10-week trial duration (figure 1&2), which will be a function of both the rate and form of fertilizer applied. The
highest rates of nitrogen applied, for Cold Start (33 kg N ha-1) and Turf Tonic (24 kg N ha-1) did provide the greatest turf color
and quality, demonstrating the importance of N to plant recovery after winter. However, the Double K product delivering the
third highest rate of N (21 kg N ha-1) did not provide an equivalent turf response (figure 1&2) which illustrates the function that
nitrogen type also has. Greenmaster Pro-Lite Double K has a large portion of its nitrogen supplied as methylene urea which is
not as readily available as ammonium and urea.

Charts showing means for Turf quality and Turf Visual Colour

 

 

All products supplied nitrogen and iron to the sward with also varying amounts of potassium and magnesium,
but the turf response (quality, color and NDVI) can be most closely related to the nitrogen rate and type.
For Turf Managers these results may mean re-evaluating their fertilizer choices. An understanding of the form of nitrogen present
in a fertilizer as well as selecting an application rate to deliver the required nitrogen to the plant is important. For this post winter
period products utilizing combinations of urea and ammonium as conventionally released nitrogen performed better than a product
containing methylene urea delivering a higher total N. As Turf Managers plan their post winter strategies, incorporating these
findings into their fertilizer selection will be crucial. This approach ensures robust, healthy pitches ready for the spring season,
aligning with the core responsibilities of modern turf management.

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