Winter greens health in the transition zone has become a hot-button topic over the last few years. We’re finding that our approach can make all the difference. 

First and foremost, managing moisture is the goal. For managing moisture, I really like Hydro-Pak Matador during the winter months because it will put more focus on the top three inches and help prevent desiccation. 

After moisture management, your first mission is to help the plant build and store carbohydrates. This will help prepare the plant for the upcoming year and help it through early stressful times. (Think of it like cool-season grasses in August.) Carbohydrate reserves, particularly in ultradwarf greens, are at their absolute lowest in early spring, so any way we can positively impact that is helpful. This is the time of year that greens are also most susceptible to foot traffic and ball marks. To make things even more difficult, we suffer through severe swings in precipitation, temperatures, and sunlight.   

I like to see winter applications starting in late October and running through the spring. Foliar-Pak products such as Foundation Forty and Amperage help with C02 assimilation, chlorophyll production, and nitrogen fixation. These processes are key to building carbohydrate reserves. Meanwhile, CSi L and Gold Standard 45 work to strengthen cell walls and combat cool-season traffic pressures, as well as build a tougher, more rigid plant early. 

Here are four products to help you prepare for your season:

  • Foundation 40 supplies specific amino acids that increase carbohydrate production, conserve carbohydrates, and load up important structures that help the plant handle stress. We actually see a green-up from Foundation Forty even at low use rates. 
  • Amperage is a great tool for maintaining base levels of primary minerals required for complete photosynthesis, particularly during cool stretches. Sugars from molasses help energize the plant with a steady source of simple carbohydrates, which is particularly impactful during low sunlight. I love the color we see from Amperage during cool, cloudy stretches.
  • CSi L is a concentrated liquid silicon product. This silicon structure has a very low molecular weight and size, allowing it to move into the foliage where the plant needs Si the most. Silicon is used by the plant to strengthen cuticles. I have seen great benefits of CSi L when it comes to traffic stress and reducing ball marks.
  • Gold Standard 45 is a 45% phosphite product complexed with amino acids. This very low-salt and high-amino acid product has excellent solubility, which helps the phosphite move into the plant more easily. The amino acids used in Gold Standard 45 are quickly metabolized and converted into valuable defense structures. In a nutshell, they work in unison with phosphites to enhance the SAR response in plants. This is not your typical phosphite!