Sports complexes in tropical climates fight an ongoing battle to maintain a healthy balance between growth, water management, and turf diseases. A newly released product is showing strong results in managing all three. Comand, a biologically based compost from Life Soils developed specifically for sports turf and golf, increases nutrients to enhance soil structure and growth, while suppressing nematodes and other diseases. Comand is now available solely through Golf Ventures for the golf and sports turf industry in Florida and the Caribbean.
Product developer Darren Midlane explained how Comand was conceived after seeing golf courses built with Canadian peat. “That’s a long way to transport peat to Florida. We value the quality of our composting products and experimented with different mixtures to replace Canadian peat for this market.” One of Comand’s properties is a reverse composting process that allows microbes to work from outside the compost pile to the inside. “Bacteria work their way in, so oxygen gets inside, and you don’t have to turn the pile all the time. Turning compost piles destroys microbes. These microbes are able to grow and develop high populations, higher than traditional compost.” The microbes are residual in the final product, and research has indicated their effectiveness in suppressing nematodes, overwhelming disease organisms, and inducing thatch breakdown. “We’re restoring the natural functions of soil through microbiology,” said Midlane.
Ryan McMeekin, Director of Operations for Life Soils, noted that Comand provides multiple benefits for turf grass, and is organically sustainable. “It has the nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous (NKP) necessary for plant growth, so it reduces the need for fertilizer. The microbes suppress diseases, so they reduce the need for pesticides and herbicides. Comand doesn’t kill weeds, but the healthier grass and root structure chokes them out.” Comand is custom-blended with sand and provides better water retention, allowing more efficient water utilization for course superintendents.
Golf Ventures is excited to bring Comand to existing and new customers. “Comand makes for healthier soil and grass, without chemicals,” said Sales Manager Glen Thompson. “The initial research is convincing. It adds value to the golf courses and sports complexes we work with, and we are committed to helping our customers be successful.”