Soil Tech Impresses with Turfgrass Research Over the Past 30 Years
Tom Rowell has been working in the golf course maintenance industry his entire career. Currently, he is in the Golf & Turf Division at Northeast Nursery. He reflects, “It’s amazing to think that one of the first biological products I ever came in contact with was over 30 years ago. At that time there weren’t many around, very few on the trade-show floor. Now, as time has gone on, biological products are part of our everyday use in the golf maintenance business,“ he states.
“I first met Steve Nichols and Soil Technologies in 1988 in Anaheim at the GCSAA Show. Steve had a booth there selling biological products and that caught my eye because it was advertising soil compaction relief. So I struck up a conversation with Steve, and after a couple years of researching their TurfTech product, I eventually purchased some product and started applying TurfTech on some compacted fairways, clay-based areas at the 18-hole golf club that I was working at. These were areas that would harden up like concrete in the summers.
"And, lo and behold, a few years later we were installing some yardage markers on these fairways and it occurred to us (my asst. and myself), as we were putting shovels in the ground and digging, that the soil was much more friable than other areas of the course where we hadn’t been using TurfTech and we could really see the benefits of the product,” Tom comments.
Then, as the research department at Soil Technologies kept looking into things, they began to employ bacteria for nitrogen-fixation and the new product became TurfTech II. From there, as the company worked with several universities, they brought out disease-suppressing microbiology that was incorporated into the product and TurfTech Bio was created.
Tom continues, “So, I was a superintendent up until 2000 and I really saw the benefits of the Soil Tech products we used on our golf course. When I went into product sales, I began offering Soil Tech products to my golf course customers. I have had some recent success supplying the Soil Tech products to courses looking to reduce their inputs of fertilizer and pesticides, fungicides, in particular. It can be done by using the Soil Tech products. They see very extensive root systems and drought-resistant turf,” Tom emphasizes.
Concluding, Tom states, “The thing that impresses me about Soil Technologies is just that they continue to research and expand the product line. The recent development of their Liquid Aeration program looks like it’s going to have a really nice place in the industry. It’s going to be able to help lawn care, golf, and everyone to streamline their processes. In this day and age with the lack of labor and help and how hard it is to do conventional aerification, if a product like this can help with relieving thatch and soil compaction and manage those situations it would certainly be a great help. And it seems like they have some great research and anecdotal evidence behind its effectiveness.”