We live in an ever-complicated world where there is an amazing number of products, technology, and digital information. Every facet of our lives is affected by an overwhelming array of choices, which we must sift through. A trip to a store like Best Buy effectively makes my point. In the TV section, there are dozens of different TVs. In the appliance section, there are dozens of different refrigerators. In the computer section, there are dozens of different computers to choose from. This is just one store out of many, not to mention all the various choices that are available online!
It is remarkably similar in our green industry, especially when it comes to fertilizers. There are hundreds (maybe even thousands) of choices when you consider liquid and granular fertilizer options. It’s a difficult task indeed. Most end-users rely on their favorite distributor reps to a large degree when formulating a fertility strategy. This is why Foliar-Pak spends a lot of energy and resources to make personal visits to see growers. It’s why we spend a lot of time presenting material, technology, and ideas to groups of end-users. We are serious about disseminating as much information to the customer as possible. This makes it much easier for the growers to make effective fertility decisions that pay nice dividends all season long.
When it comes to a turf fertility program, some superintendents really like to do their own thing and build a unique program that they feel they can fine-tune and adjust based on how their conditions change. They may want more control to adjust nutrient inputs on the fly. They like to tinker and feed their perfectionist tendencies. That’s great. It’s these folks for which we originally designed the Foliar-Pak product portfolio. We built more individualized nutrient products like Foliar-Pak Calcium, 11-0-11, 1-0-15, Manganese, etc. With these products, the grower can mix, match, and substitute based on tissue tests, changes in weather, changes in turf color, or based purely on experience or intuition. The point being, Foliar-Pak has always fed the needs of these growers that like flexibility.
There is another group of superintendents that want and need the opposite approach. They crave simplicity and convenience. Luckily for them, we’ve created two fabulous fertilizer formulations that simplify their lives. Foliar-Pak Grow-In is an exceedingly popular product, which was developed to simplify establishment of new turf and recovery (aeration, damage, etc.). Instead of tank mixing 4 or 5 products, we can use only Grow-In at a higher rate to expedite establishment and recovery. In that same vein, we created Play-On as a convenient base product for general turfgrass maintenance that contains multiple technologies, a secondary nutrient, and micronutrients.
There really is no other product like Play-On. It combines a nearly complete nutrient program with our top technologies, aimed at improving stress tolerance, controlled growth, and improved playability. The nutrient analysis includes nitrogen, potassium (7-0-7 analysis—a fair amount of the nitrogen coming from amino acids), and a micronutrient package including Magnesium (from our proprietary magnesium that has been reacted with glutamic acid). We also have room in the formulation for a good slug of our foundation aminos and Armament! The amino acids work in several ways to improve plant energy, increase plant stress tolerance, and provide very efficient forms of nitrogen. The Armament works in the soil to increase overall nutrient availability. These technologies work in tandem to increase nutrient efficiencies with the end goal of reducing overall N inputs and helping to reduce top growth while enhancing turf quality.
Play-On makes it so much simpler to apply a complete nutrient program. Superintendents love how they can reduce the number of products that go into their spray tanks. This is especially important for spray techs that struggle to stay ahead of morning play. Having one product as a nice base reduces mixing errors that occur when tank-mixing several products with varying rates. What’s most exciting are the results we observe from the use of Play-On: great color, residual of color, controlled growth, and a tougher, more resilient turf stand.
By starting the program with a solid foundation like Play-On, superintendents can easily add their favorite additives—and still not have too many products to mix into the tank. My favorite Foliar-Pak addition to Play-On is CSi L. The Si strengthens turf, improves stress tolerance, and provides greater leaf rigidity. The osmolytes in CSi L improve drought stress and salt stress tolerance while increasing plant turgidity. Other top tank-mix additions can include Foliar-Pak Calcium, depending on your need for Ca, or Gold Standard 45 as your phosphite addition to the program. Regardless of whether you use Play-On as your only fertility input or you add any or all of these other technologies, Play-On will greatly simplify your liquid fertilizer program.
As is the case with any Foliar-Pak product, Play-On is very compatible with fungicides, PGRs, and wetting agents, which will further simplify your sprayer operator’s life!