Chemical applications at Sand Martins Golf Club in Hampshire have been made easier and more effective with the help of water conditioner Transport Ultra from Headland Amenity.
Course Manager Matt Short explains: "The course is 20 years old and comprises two distinct nine-hole sections. The front nine is parkland which is gradually maturing while the back nine is constructed on an old quarry with an inland links feel. This section is more free draining, but there have been a few issues with the front nine."
Matt has been Course Manager at Sand Martins for 18 months, and his predecessor warned him that worm casts were a problem on the fairways and tees, and were not well controlled by Carbendazim.
"Over the first winter, I also struggled to get on top of the problem, but in discussion with Headland's Darren Hatcher, Transport Ultra was suggested as a solution."
A new type of water conditioner, Transport Ultra features non-surfactant water conditioning agents and ammonium ions in a convenient premix formulation. It tackles the reaction in the spray tank solution between calcium, magnesium and bicarbonate, present in high levels in hard water, that can make pesticide active ingredients less available.
Transport Ultra sequesters calcium, magnesium and bicarbonate and imparts a positive charge to materials added to the tank, resulting in faster uptake and translocation.
"Tests showed that, sure enough, we have hard water," explains Matt, "And using Transport Ultra has made a big difference - we have had fantastic results with Carbendazim."
He has been able to halve his applications of the worm cast suppression product, and has also found that other fungicides are more effective, as their active ingredients are not 'locked up' by the hard water.
"It is very simple to use - a printout of water sample results shows exactly how much to put in, and is also very cost effective at around 250ml/100 litres of water," comments Matt. "It is also very clean to handle - I simply measure it into the top of my Toro Multipro sprayer."
He adds that Transport Ultra is an economical product to use, especially as it makes other chemicals more effective.
"I'm aware that there are other water conditioners on the market, but I haven't looked at them. The results with Transport Ultra were so good in the first winter, my view is 'if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it!"