Turf Improvement Program with BioActive Soil Solutions

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Bioactive Soil Solutions have undertaken a turf improvement program in conjunction with Ipswich City Council at Len Johnson Park sports fields in order to ascertain the benefits of incorporating the Bioactive biological products into current sports field programs.

Using two fields at Len Johnson Park one as control and one with added biology, the aim is to improve the overall soil structure and plant health contributing to reductions in water, fertilizer and wear damage.

Client: Ipswich City Council
Location: Len Johnson Park, Queensland

The aims of the program are to quantify
• Positive changes in soil structure
• Improved moisture holding capacity and drainage
• Reductions in water use
• Improvement of root structure and depth
• Reductions in fertiliser use
• Improvement in plant health
• Improved surface growth and resilience

Trial Areas
• The trial was conducted at Len Johnson Park in Queensland.
• Map attached below with treated and control area.

Products Utilised
• Bactivate Granules
• Bactivate Bioboost
• Bactivate Seaweed
• Bactivate Plus Liquid

Program Measurables
In order to ascertain the benefits of the program the following measures were agreed to
• Penetrometer testing
• Full soil nutrition and biology
• Root structure and depth
• Soil profile improvements
• Water holding capacity
• Visual recovery of fields

Trial Applications and Timeline
There are a number of applications between 2018 and 2020 that are budgeted.

Consultation – August 2018
• Initial consultation with Ipswich City Council.
• Discussion of the plan to proceed forward for the project.

First Application – September 2018
• Previous soil tests supplied and program developed.
• Initial penetrometer readings taken.
• Bactivate granular applied at 125kg and Bactivate Bioboost at 5L

Second Application – November 2018
• Bactivate Bioboost at 5L and Bactivate Seaweed at 5L

Third Application – February 2019
• Bactivate Liquid at 2L, Bactivate Bioboost at 5L and Bactivate Seaweed at 5L

Site Visit – June 2019
Site visit for assessments of
• Root depth
• Root mass
• Grass coverage
• Penetrometer readings
• Initial report

Site Visit and Fourth Application – August 2019
• Site visit for assessments of
• Root depth
• Root mass
• Grass coverage
• Penetrometer readings
• Bactivate granular at 125kg and Bactivate Bioboost at 5L
• Water use readings
• Soil test
• Supplementary Report

Site Visit and Fifth Application – November 2019
Site visit for assessments of
• Root depth
• Root mass
• Grass coverage
• Penetrometer readings
• Bactivate Liquid at 2L, Bactivate Bioboost at 5L, and Bactivate Seaweed at 5L
• Water use readings
• Supplementary Report

Site Visit and Sixth Application – February 2020
Site visit for assessments of
• Root depth
• Root mass
• Grass coverage
• Penetrometer readings
• Bactivate Bioboost at 5L, and Bactivate Seaweed at 5L
• Water use readings
• Supplementary Report

Site Visit and Seventh Application – April 2020
• Site visit for assessments of
• Root depth
• Root mass
• Grass coverage
• Penetrometer readings
• Bactivate Bioboost at 5L, and Bactivate Seaweed at 5L
• Water use readings
• Soil Test
• Supplementary Report

Site Visit – June 2020
Site visit for assessments of
• Root depth
• Root mass
• Grass coverage
• Penetrometer readings
• Water use readings
• Final Report

Interim Report – June 13th 2019
Interim results from the trial are positive with significant changes in the soil structure starting to take effect. A reduction in the penetrometer readings was experienced in both control and treated fields. Control reduction 12% in profile psi can be attributed to changes in soil moisture increase. While treated reduction 21% is a combination of soil moisture increase and soil profile restructuring brought about by increased biological activity.

Changes in the depth of penetration by the probe on the treated field also shows restructuring of the soil profile allowing the increase from an average of 300 to 540, while
the control remained virtually unchanged. The penetrometer readings are still in the high range for both control and treated, 573psi and 756psi respectively with a desirable range of 300psi or less for good structured root growth.

Expectations are that by the end of trial June 2020 the treated field will be closer to the 300psi indicator than the control and displaying a stronger more vigorous root system. Restructuring of the soil profile by the biological processes should result in higher water holding capacity and better water percolation ultimately reducing the amount of water needed to maintain health of the field.

A stronger more vigorous root system in conjunction with a more balanced rhizosphere will allow better nutrient utilization and a reduction in the amount of nutrient required to maintain a healthy sports surface. Other benefits flowing on from creating a more balanced soil structure with healthy rhizosphere, will be a healthier turf that is has increased natural resistance to disease and insect attack coupled with a higher recovery rate to wear and damage.

BioActive products are available at turfmate – https://shop.turfmate.com.au/

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