The EarthWorks Construction Program
Pre-plant Soil Amendments for Sports Turf & Golf Course Construction
Golf course greens construction mixes are typically soil-less mediums with limited carbon, so EarthWorks asked the question “what does a soil have that a soil-less medium doesn’t have?” We broke it down into three sections: a nutrient holding capacity (CEC), an organic matrix, and a mineral base. Starting with the need for a good nutrient holding capacity, typically very low in sand mixes, we added Ecolite, a zeolite mineral. Then we built an organic and mineral package to feed both the plant and soil microbial populations. The EarthWorks construction mix has been part of hundreds of construction projects since the mid 1990’s.
The holding capacity comes from Ecolite that has a CEC three times higher than other common physical amendments. Ecolite manages moisture in the soil, first holding it then making it available to the plant. It creates soil porosity, and it acts as a reservoir for both potassium and ammonium nitrogen.
The backbone of the EarthWorks Construction program is Renovate Plus, which supplies both an organic and mineral base to the construction mix. To mimic a soil, we built a product that has a dynamic complex organic matrix, one that feeds soil microbes, grows strong, deep roots, helps to mobilize nutrients, and builds moisture holding humus. The mineral component of Renovate Plus provides the plant with most of the nutrients it needs during the grow in process and for years to come. The Plus in Renovate Plus is Ecolite which makes up 50% of the product and rounds out the perfect construction amendment mix.
Biological starter fertilizer Myco Replenish is the final step to the EarthWorks Construction Program. The addition of a mycorrhiza inoculant to the surface of the growing environment significantly helps build the root system quickly, moving roots deep into growing medium providing the plants with nutrients and water. Mycorrhiza is very effective at finding and providing the plant with phosphorus especially important during a grow in operation. They are also very important in the formation of soil glomalin a material in the soil that helps to keep the soil friable and helps to fight hydrophobicity.
“You save five years of work in the first month”
Renovate Plus is an advanced establishment, and recovery, amendment product. It mimics a soil in a soil-less medium providing the new growing mix with a holding capacity, CEC, and an organic and mineral base that allows for a quick establishment of deep strong roots. By building a carbon rich root zone less nitrogen will be needed through the grow in process, resulting in less thatch to manage later and a stronger stand of turfgrass.
Derived from: dry meal products, compost, rock phosphate, greensand, sul-po-mag, calcium carbonate, humic acids, 50% zeolite (Ecolite)
Ecolite is the premier zeolite mineral. A potassium silica that is mica like in structure which allows for strong moisture management. It has an affinity for both potassium and ammonium nitrogen, holding both in the root zone for potential plant uptake. Ecolite is the main component of Renovate Plus but ideally a little more Ecolite is added to the construction program to ensure the strongest holding capacity possible. This additional zeolite also provides a needed potassium reservoir so important in sodium rich soils.
Derived from: zeolite mineral
Myco Replenish is an OMRI Listed organic product focusing on mycorrhiza fungi inoculants. Mycorrhiza fungi has been proven to quickly establish strong root systems in any soil mix. Mycorrhiza enters the plant root system pulling in both water and nutrients especially phosphorus so important for the establishment of new turf. Myco Replenish is applied to the surface of the soil and lightly raked in at time of seeding or sod establishment.
Derived from: Composted poultry manure, Endo/Ecto Mycorrhizae, humic acids
There have been many successful EarthWorks amendment programs used by different turf managers. The following suggestions are an average. If you have a quick opening date adding more investment to your grow in amendments will ensure that your project is as successful as possible. The simple answer is to use as much as you can afford. You can save five years of work in the first month.
For more detailed information please contact an EarthWorks Agronomist.
Ideal Program for golf and sports turf construction:
350 lbs. of Renovate Plus per 1000 sq. ft. @ 6 inch depth 150 lbs. of Ecolite per 1000 sq. ft. @ 6 inch depth 25 lbs. of Myco Replenish per 1000 sq. ft. @ 1 inch depth
Ideal Program for “No Till” operations:
150 lbs. of Renovate Plus per 1000 sq. ft. @ 3 inch dept with planting 50 lbs. of Ecolite per 1000 sq. ft. @ 3 inch depth with planting 15 lbs. of Myco Replenish per 1000 sq. ft. @ 2 inch depth with planting
Carbon Balanced Grow In Program
Use Replenish 5-4-5 and/or Replenish 10-2-5 for 50% of the nitrogen used during the first ten weeks with the goal to cut back the total nitrogen applications to as low as only a few pounds. This will balance the carbon to nitrogen ratio and help to reduce thatch build so common in grow in programs.
Contact EarthWorks to get your next construction project off the ground!