Jumping on the Pigment Bandwagon — Lower Costs and Better Weed Control

Tray Maltby used to overseed all three of his Florida golf courses wall-to-wall six months of the year. But now he’s rethinking that model. “Northerners want to play on green grass,” notes Maltby, director of golf course grounds at Reunion Resort near Orlando, Fla. “In central Florida, we can get a freeze and/or heavy frost where bermudagrass will go off-color, so we want to make sure it stays green.” Designed by legendary golfers Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, the Reunion courses, like their creators, each have their own distinctive style. But they have at least one thing in common – their turfgrass varieties. They all feature Tifeagle bermudagrass greens, Tifdwarf bermuda collars and approaches and 419 bermuda on tees, fairways and roughs. Traditionally, Maltby planted perennial ryegrass on tees and fairways and Poa trivialis on greens, collars and approaches each October. “It costs roughly $40,000 to overseed all 90 acres of turf — and that’s just to get the seed here, before I’ve even opened a bag,” he explains. “When you add in fertilizer, herbicides, fuel costs and labor, it jumps up to more than $100,000.” Liquid Overseeding Trial With the advent of “liquid overseeding” — coloring the turf with pigments through winter months — Maltby feels he may have found a lower-cost solution to keeping his grass green, as well as accelerating his weed-control program. “We chose not to overseed the Nicklaus course greens this year and sprayed a few different pigment products as a trial instead,” he adds. “It’s turned out really well for us so far. For starters, it costs about one-third less than...