Friday, January 5, 2018

Winter 2018: Melting Ice on Turf

By: Scott Mackintosh
While many enjoyed a peaceful white Christmas, it wasn’t long before many throughout New England received a coating of ice! Since then arctic weather has had a strangle hold on New England with air temperatures well below freezing, many below zero. Yesterday winter storm Grayson hammered most of New England with at least 6 inches of snow. Experienced turfgrass managers have already started their clocks and asked themselves; How many days have my greens been under ice or snow? When should I clear it off? What can I use to melt ice if I have any when the time comes?

Historically, many have turned to a product called Milorganite. It was developed back in the roaring 20’s and has been used on greens ever since.  Milorganite, is a finely ground black pelletized sewage sludge particle with a 6-2-0 minimum nutrient analysis. Applied to the ice on sunny days Milorganite flows with water and collects in low areas. As turf breaks dormancy, the nutrient release in those low areas can be excessive and concerning. Today, black sand has proven to be a great option. It’s simply high-quality topdressing sand treated with a black pigment. Sand, of course, has a cation exchange level of 2 or less. Applied on a sunny day it also quickly melts ice but it has zero nutrient release and only a limited increase in canopy temperature in the early spring.  Another ice melt option has been to use sunflower seeds. They are easy to apply, they melt ice and birds love them. Unfortunately, many superintendents pick sunflower sprouts out of aerifiction holes.  

Are there other options? Yes. Many turf managers apply Solu-Cal gypsum. The greens grade or regular grade particle has a dark brown to black color.  Gypsum is calcium sulfate. Applied at 5-10 lbs./1,000 sf on a sunny day it too will melt and bore into ice. The particle slowly dissolves to smaller forms of soluble calcium and sulfur. Calcium and sulfur improve cell wall thickness and chlorophyll formation, respectively. Another interesting option is Profile. Profile is a porous ceramic inorganic soil amendment. The greens grade or regular grade particle is 74% pore space which allows it to hold water and oxygen in perfect balance.  The particle is available in an emerald green color or a natural reddish color. Applied to ice at 5-50 lbs./1,000 sf it will also bore into and melt the ice on a sunny day. As it nestles into the turf canopy it will merely improve the nutrient holding capacity and help balance air and water pore space in the rootzone.
            As we roll into 2018 all of us at Atlantic Golf Turf resolve to support, serve and promote the Turfgrass Industry and the Professional Turfgrass managers of the Northeast! Please call us at 413-863-4444 or visit us at

Monday, March 20, 2017

Big Changes at Atlantic Golf & Turf Headquarters

February 14, 2017
Yes, the rumors are true . . .

Atlantic Golf & Turf has a new home! We have purchased a building just down the street from our current location. (Seriously, it’s 200 yards down the street!) We closed on 27 Industrial Blvd on February 14th and have been working hard to prepare the building since then.

Since AG&T started in 2010 we have been working out of multiple locations, having warehouse space in 2 or 3 different places at any given time. With about 35,000 sq. ft. the new building has more than enough room for us to bring everything under one roof. We are currently in Phase 1 of this consolidation with us spending the last few weeks renovating what will become our warehouse space. This work is still ongoing but we received our first shipment of product to the new building a few days ago!

First product in the new building.
Phase 2 will be moving our offices and staff down the street. This will also take a significant amount of renovation. The new building has more offices than we could ever hope to use so the plan is for a number of them to be converted into additional warehouse space. Our office staff is currently threatening an arm wrestling tournament to determine who gets what office from the remaining spaces.

 The cherry on our new building sundae is a fantastic auditorium space. This room includes seated work stations for 80 people with a raised stage and a permanent projection system. As some of you may have already seen, we were thrilled to have our first “AG&T University” in this space last week. Stay tuned as we expand our events in the upcoming months.

Our first "AG&T University" in the new auditorium.
This next step in Atlantic Golf & Turf’s growth would not have been possible without the support of the green industry surrounding us here in the Northeast.

Thank you to our vendors. Some of you took a pretty big chance on our little start up 7 years ago and we are eternally grateful for that.

More importantly, thank you to our customers. We know that you have plenty of options in the marketplace and the fact that you have put your faith in us is not something we take lightly. The entire team at AG&T thanks you for your confidence in our ability to supply you with the products and knowledge you need to do your job.

Here’s to a successful 2017 for all of us!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Summer 2016 Recovery Series: The Importance of Seedling Protection

So the long summer of drought and stress has left in its wake turf that simply could not survive despite your long hours and best efforts.  Late summer and early fall presents us the opportunity to start anew and recover these areas before winter arrives.  Being the turf professional that you are, you have done the research on seed genetics to choose the best seed for your specific needs.  You have assessed your site needs and looked into surfactants and considered seed coatings.  Nutritional options have been studied and decisions made.  The process begins as the ground is prepared and the seed is laid down with some food and water and we hope for a good catch. 

Along with oxygen, water, and food, these young seedlings will need a little medicine to help protect them during this critical time of establishment.  The moist and nutrient rich environment of a seed bed brings with it the potential of sudden loss of seedlings to Damping Off.  Do yourself a favor and proactively protect your seedlings with an application of Mefenoxam 2AQ.  The systemic mode of action and its ability to translocate within the plant will provide protection for up to three weeks.  You put so much time and effort into planting these seeds, protect them against loss and enjoy a successful recovery.