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Jan 2024 | Article

Study shows silicon improves turf

A study we carried out with STRI has shown how increasing silicon in turf grass can improve leaf density, increase root mass, and enhance the overall green colour in visual assessments. 

The study used replicated plots and four applications of our silicon biostimulant Fossil on days 0, 7, 14, 21. The plots were assessed for ground cover and disease, colour, and quality every week, with a clippings and root mass assessments taken at week eight.
"We assessed nutrient content in weeks four and eight and found increased levels of iron which was enhancing the green colour of the grass. This will be popular with sports turf managers. However, root mass increase was the most encouraging indicator that supplementary silicon was improving plant health, and this is especially important with the drought conditions we have experienced in recent years,” explains Orion FT Research and Development Agronomist Kate Williams. 
Kate Williams - Technical Manager
[email protected]

A one-litre and two-litre dose of Fossil was applied to turf grass as a foliar spray. The two-litre application showed a significant increase over the untreated and one-litre treated trials plots. 
“For some turf managers, using one litre would be beneficial as it reduced clippings by 4% whilst the two-litre application saw clippings increase by 2%. However, the standout result was a root mass increase of 36% with the two-litre application,” she explains. 
With record temperatures being recorded year on year, and longer spells of dry weather, a deeper searching root system has the potential to improve turf drought resilience.
Fossil contains 15% silicon and silicon-phosphite in a dual action formulation. The phosphite biostimulant action is directly linked to an increase in lateral rooting and root branching,” she adds. 
A further benefit that befits the UK as an island was the reduction in sodium uptake of the treated plots. 
“For turf growers close to the coast, or in areas with high soil salinity, this will present significant advantages,” says Miss Williams.

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