Winter Tips from Macro-Sorb & SMS Additive Solutions

Winter Tip Sheet with Logos

Timely Winter Tips for Golf Course Maintenance

Golf course superintendents in Northern and Midwestern states may have a bit of a breather in winter months, but activity is in full swing in Southern and Western regions.

In Southern states where warm-season turfgrasses go dormant, superintendents often overseed with cool-season grasses, or use pigments or colorants to provide green color during winter months. In Western states where cool-season turf is maintained year round, pink snow mold applications are made throughout the winter months. Macro-Sorb® products can help with both of these treatments!

Improving Pigment Effectiveness

Recent demonstration trials conducted by Macro-Sorb Technologies in Texas and Georgia showed that using amino acid products enhanced uptake and translocation of pigments. The applications even delayed dormancy for several weeks, maintaining green color longer into the season.

Texas Trial

  • Approximately six weeks before turf entered winter dormancy, the superintendent applied a half-label rate of pigment along with Macro-Sorb® Foliar and Macro-Sorb’s Quelant®-Minors on fairway mowing-height zoysiagrass green surrounds
  • Macro-Sorb® Foliar and Quelant®-Minors were applied at 2.0 fl oz./1000 ft2
  • A second application (full-label rate of pigment plus Macro-Sorb® Foliar and Quelant®-Minors) was applied 2 weeks after the initial application to green surrounds
  • On the rest of the fairway, the superintendent applied only pigment, first application was at half-label rate and then full-label rate two week later (same timing as green surrounds)
  • Superintendent observations showed that putting green surrounds held their green color 3 to 4 weeks longer than the fairways
  • Conclusion: When applied as a tank mix partner with pigments, Macro-Sorb® Foliar and Quelant®-Minors can improve green color and prolonged the onset of warm season turf dormancy

 Georgia Trial

Various treatments were applied on fairway mowing-height zoysiagrass turf:  Two total applications of each treatment were made 3 weeks apart, with initial treatment approximately 4-6 weeks before winter dormancy.  Macro-Sorb Foliar and Quelant®-Minors were applied at 2.0 fl oz/1000 ft2.


  • Macro-Sorb® Foliar alone
  • Macro-Sorb® Foliar plus Quelant®-Minors
  • Macro-Sorb® Foliar plus half-label rate of pigment
  • Macro-Sorb® Foliar plus Quelant®-Minors plus half-label rate of pigment
  • Pigment alone at half-label rate
  • Pigment applications were increased to full-label rate on second application
  • Conclusion: Observations have shown an initial enhancement of green color when Macro-Sorb® Foliar and Quelant®-Minors were added to the pigment.  Data is still being collected at this site.
Pigment Study for Blog Post

Figure 1. Plots from Georgia Demonstration Study three weeks after the initial application. Treatments (from Left to Right) are, Untreated, Pigment alone, Pigment plus Macro-Sorb® Foliar, Pigment plus Macro-Sorb® Foliar and Quelant®-Minors. Notice how the pigments plus the Macro-Sorb already show a slightly darker green color after just one application compared to the pigment alone. This study will be continuously observed as zoysiagrass enters winter dormancy.

Enhanced uptake of pigments and prolonged green color of warm-season turfgrasses is desirable for golf courses.  Gaining just a few weeks of green color could result in increased revenue for a course! A treatment of pigment plus Macro-Sorb® Foliar and Quelant®-Minors is also a great application for overseeded ryegrass situations.  This application will enhance green color, aesthetics and plant health, without promoting vertical shoot growth.


Enhancing Pink Snow Mold Treatments

Pink Snow Mold

Figure 2. Pink Snow Mold (Microdochium nivale).  Photo Credit:, Todd Cliff, Country Club of Ithaca.

             In California, the golfing season continues in much of the state throughout the winter months. In most of the state, superintendents treat for pink snow mold (Microdochium nivale) throughout the winter golfing season.

Recent trials have shown that phosphite-containing products can provide adequate control of pink snow mold when applied preventively.  Also, when tank mixed with traditional fungicides, phosphites improve snow mold control and overall turf quality, compared to fungicides alone.

It’s been shown that phosphites boost the natural defense mechanisms within the plants. By making one or two applications of a phosphite-containing product followed by a fungicide plus phosphite treatment, superintendents can improve application effectiveness.

Excellent results are being observed following applications of Macro-Sorb’s Macro-PHITE™, a double-action plant protection phosphite fertilizer.  Macro-PHITE contains high quality phosphite formulated with Macro-Sorb amino acids to enhance product uptake. The product also increases resistance to biotic stress caused by pathogens and abiotic stress caused by adverse climatic conditions.

A few applications of Macro-PHITE prior to cooler temperatures increase the plant’s natural defense mechanisms heading into winter. Combined with pink snow mold fungicide applications, Macro-PHITE helps turf withstand winter disease pressure.

For more information about Macro-Sorb and its products, visit


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SMS Additive Solutions

Soil surfactants have been proven to aid in water management, especially in the hot dry summer months.  However, soil surfactants can also provide many benefits when applied in winter months, as well.

Surfactant applications ensure any precipitation that occurs over winter will enter the soil quickly and uniformly.  They also improve surface drainage during times of thaw.

Crown hydration injury occurs when excess moisture on the surface freezes, killing the turf crowns.  As temperatures begin to warm in the spring, soil surfactants aid moisture management by maximizing penetration of water and improving moisture uniformity.

SMS Additive Solutions recommends a late-season soil surfactant applications to putting greens, or areas of turf where winter injury is a concern.  With questions regarding late-season soil surfactant applications, or product recommendations please contact your friendly SMS Additive Solutions representative.

Eric Greytok (Sales Manager) at

John Haguewood (Technical Manager) at


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