Getting to the ROOT of the problem at Ed Smith Stadium

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When you become head groundskeeper for a world-class baseball field, you don’t expect it to be built on top of a landfill. But, for Dan Thomas’ Ed Smith Stadium, a training facility for the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota, Florida, that’s exactly what happened.

Beneath the 2.5 acres of manicured 54 Bermuda grass lies an old landfill.

“We don’t have the best growing conditions,” admits Dan. “It’s been a difficult time to get the grass growing consistently. And, when we do renovations, it’s not unusual to find trash and maybe even a tire or two.” 

Dan started applying HGX Pro Bio 800+ Golf in the summer of 2014 after being referred to the product by a friend at the Pittsburgh Pirates (another Holganix user). “It took a few months for me to notice a huge difference when using Holganix.” But, with HGX Pro Bio 800+ Golf, “the health of my turf is remarkable!”

“It is still a work in progress, but I am shocked at the results I’ve seen with Holganix. I didn’t think it could have this much of an effect on turf health, but HGX Pro Bio 800+ Golf does.”

For Dan, increasing turf health meant, “getting to the ROOT of the problem.” To improve turf health and density, he needed to take care of the roots. With HGX Pro Bio 800+ Golf, Ed Smith Stadium’s roots are much longer and denser.

Dan has been able to improve the health and density of his turf by using HGX Pro Bio 800+ Golf. Additionally, he has been able to reduce his inputs, including nitrogen fertilizer, fungicides, irrigation, and seeding.

Baltimore orioles spring training

In this case study, we'll be exploring the following topics as they relate to Ed Smith Stadium. Click the link to skip to the topic of your choosing! Or, continue scrolling to read the full story.

  1. Application rates
  2. Fertilizer reductions
  3. Irrigation reductions
  4. Seeding reductions
  5. Fungicide reductions
  6. What's in a jug of HGX Pro Bio 800+ Golf?

Application Rates

Dan uses HGX Pro Bio 800+ Golf every two weeks at the rate of one jug per acre. He tank mixes Bio 800+ Golf with additional soil amendments and a few other additives. “We’ve seen really good results,” says Dan.

Fertilizer Reductions

Dan used to apply granular fertilizers once a month before using HGX Pro Bio 800+ Golf. Nowadays, he only applies fertilizer every six to eight weeks or sometimes even less frequently. He determines the need for fertilizer by conducting soil tests to keep track of nutrient deficiency. “I don't want to say we’ve reduced our synthetic fertilizer by 50% with HGX Pro Bio 800+ Golf, but it’s pretty close!”

Irrigation Reductions

Dan reported that ever since he began using HGX Pro Bio 800+ Golf, the amount of irrigation his field requires has decreased significantly. Before using the product, his field needed to be irrigated for "one hour, five days a week." However, after using the product for more than a year, Dan has been able to reduce the irrigation time to just 30-35 minutes, and "that is without a syringe cycle in the Florida heat!”

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Seeding Reductions

“We typically overseed between Thanksgiving and Christmas,” explains Dan. Normally, Dan does an initial round of seed followed by a second or third round to ensure the turf grows in dense. Since using Holganix Golf, “I only go out one round and then do a touch-up in certain areas. I’m not adding more seed, just getting more out of the seed I put down.” According to Dan, because of his results with seeding, he is going to lower his seed budget, saving money.

Fungicide Reductions

“I’ve seen an increase in disease suppression when using Holganix Golf with my fungicides,” says Dan. “We used to be constantly spraying fungicides.” Now, Dan applies much fewer fungicides (how much less?).

According to Dan, when you are caring for turf, grounds managers need to be wary of creating a circle of hopelessness. “When you water the lawn, you keep the turf healthy but water leads to disease. Breaking that cycle means reducing your irrigation, which helps reduce your need for fungicides. Holganix helps break that cycle.”

After years of working the turf at Ed Smith Stadium, Dan Thomas' hard work paid off when the stadium was named Baseball Field of the Year by STMA in 2016. 

At the end of the day, Dan wants to reduce inputs and get more out of the little he does use. “We will never be 100% organic, but we are headed down the right road and I look forward to seeing where it takes us.” 

What's in a jug of HGX Pro Bio 800+ Golf? 

Unlike other plant probiotics, HGX Pro Bio 800+ products contain an entire microbiome or community of organisms that are both abundant and diverse. There are more than 800 species of active microbes, microbe food, and nutrient enhancers in a single jug of any HGX Pro Bio 800+ Golf product.

Download our Holganix Ingredient List and access our data to learn more!

Download: Holganix Bio 800+ Ingredient List 

Posted by Kaitlyn Ersek on Feb 2, 2024 9:30:00 AM

Kaitlyn Ersek

Topics: sports turf, holganix reviews, golf course

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