Ultimate Turf, an specialty fertilizer from Solutions4Earth, has groundskeepers from Los Angeles to Miami singing its praises.
Ultimate Turf fertilizer being used in MLB parks
A new specialty fertilizer product is gaining traction among groundskeepers of some of the most famous sports stadiums in the country, and is also gaining popularity among golf course superintendents across the nation.
Ultimate Turf, an amazing specialty fertilizer from Solutions4Earth, has groundskeepers from Los Angeles to Miami singing its praises. And while each of them has his own success story regarding the product, they all center on one key result of using Ultimate Turf – increased root mass.
“I have been doing this for quite a while and I can say without hesitation that Ultimate Turf is fantastic,” said Alan Sigwardt, Senior Director of Grounds at Miami’s Sun Life Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins, Miami Hurricanes and others. “The biggest names in the country are using Ultimate Turf. They can buy any product they want, any time they want. So if they are using it, you don’t need to know a whole lot more.”
Among those who have been won over by Ultimate Turf is Bill Findley, Head Groundskeeper for the St. Louis Cardinals for the past 17 years. He learned about Ultimate Turf at baseball’s winter meetings last year, and liked what he heard. He applied Ultimate Turf in the spring, prior to opening day.
“The only thing we did differently in our maintenance program this year was using Ultimate Turf, and we’ve never had results like this,” he said. “This is far and away the best root mass we have ever had, and it is a good thing we did. We endured the hottest summer on record in St. Louis, yet we had the best durability we’ve ever had.
“If I hadn’t used this product, we would have never made it through all those hot summer nights. It blew me away. I am a huge believer in Ultimate Turf.”
Mark Razum, Head Groundskeeper for the Colorado Rockies for 18 years, saw similar results from his use of Ultimate Turf.
“In the past we would often have to re-sod certain wear and tear areas on the field after long homestands,” said Razum. “After using Ultimate Turf this year we were able to maintain those areas throughout the season. Over time that adds up to savings in labor and product. Also, our water usage was down even though we experienced a hot summer. It got me to thinking about all the products we have tried over the years. Nothing worked like Ultimate Turf. I am really excited about going into next season after this year’s results.”
Developing a strong root mass early in the maintenance program is the key to Ultimate Turf.
“Our goal with the athletic fields is to make applications of Ultimate Turf to stimulate and build root mass before their season begins,” said Jeremie Smith, Director of Sports Turf for Solutions4Earth. “Root mass equals rapid reparability from cleat damage, etc.”
Developing a solid root mass can be challenging, especially with certain types of surface bases.
“We don’t have a sand-based field here in Anaheim. We still have a native-based field. So previously the big problem was getting the roots to penetrate,” said Barney Lopas, Head Groundskeeper with the Anaheim Angels for 16 years. “The surface breaks up easily, dry spots develop and the field just doesn’t play as well.
“I’ve tried a lot of different products in the past without much success. So when I heard about Ultimate Turf, I was onboard right away. The results have been great.”
Clay Wood has been the Head Groundskeeper since 1995 at Oakland’s Overstock.Com Coliseum, home of the baseball A’s, the NFL Raiders and dozens of other events during the year. Like Sigwardt from Miami, he faces the challenge of quick turnaround between football and baseball games during the fall months. And it was Sigwardt who introduced Wood to the Solutions4Earth team.
“Alan was raving about the results he had seen last year during the multi-purpose season,” said Wood. “He was amazed by how quickly the sod was knitting together. We host it all at our stadium – football, baseball, soccer, Monster Trucks, concerts. Recovery of the sod is always a concern. So I was anxious to try it.
“Ultimate Turf is the only thing I have done differently this year and I have noticed a big difference in not only root mass, but depth. Moving bleachers onto and off the field for football games is stressful for the playing surface, but this year we had the best results we’ve ever had. An A’s official told me after one of the changeovers that he had never seen the field look so good.”
Wood, too, has seen monetary benefits from using Ultimate Turf.
“Our liquid fertilizer fees were cut by 40 percent this year, yet we still achieved the same color and results without spending as much money. Pretty amazing,” said Wood.
Beyond building a strong root mass, Ultimate Turf has other attributes that are significant to the maintenance team.
“Ultimate Turf aids in nutrient availability due to its’ low pH solution,” said Smith. “When blended with other products, it gives the turf manager an option to reduce fertility inputs.”
“I think the product helped open up what was already in the soil, making it available to the plant,” said Razum. “The resulting density is amazing.”
While the maintenance staff appreciates how a product like Ultimate Turf makes its job easier, the real test comes from the players and the TV cameras.
“I get a comment here or there from the players,” said Razum. “They compliment me on the stability of the field, how it feels under their feet, how the ball rolls. But the truth is, if they are not saying anything to you, that means you are doing something right. And this year, they must have liked what they saw.”
In Anaheim, Lopas has struggled with appearance. Those struggles were minimized this year with the use of Ultimate Turf.
“The field needs to be pleasing to the eye,” he said. “Before, when I was having to re-sod all the time, it was tough to get the field uniform throughout. Ultimate Turf took care of that problem. With the density and the darkness of the grass, the field was much more uniform this year.”
Pro Turf International, a division of Solutions4Earth, has been utilizing Ultimate Turf in all of its golf course maintenance projects at some of the best golf courses in the southwest. The results have been positive.
“We have noticed a huge upgrade in our turf in every instance,” said Kip Wolfe of PTI. “Root mass is key for golf course turf, and nothing we have used in the past has done the job nearly as well as Ultimate Turf.”-By Mike Jamison