Biostimulants have been used in turf for forever. Flicking through my heavily worn “Practical Greenkeeping” by Jim Arthur (who incidentally would have celebrated his 100th Birthday recently).
I can see endless references to “biostimulants”.
Sand and Seaweed stacked and turned, Soot, Cocoa waste, sewage sludge, spent mushrooms, etc the list goes on and on.
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Greenkeepers have always been looking for that “magic” ingredient something that doesn’t deliver nitrogen (or much nitrogen) but lifts the turfs health.
By our nature Greenkeepers are experimenters and I would imagine most things they could lay there hands on have been used and trialled in an attempt to Improve plant health.
I used to love looking back through the old diaries at the last course I managed. In that situation a mix of Beech leaves and sand was “Biostimulant” of choice up until the early 1980’s.
They’ve not always been called “Biostimulants” thats a term that has been coined in recent years.
They’ve evolved from raw products to improved formulations and cleaner products
As the short term turf response levels are minimal it’s become difficult to measure results and a grey area with more than its fair share of poorly researched products.
This is a bigger challenge than just turf which spreads over Agriculture and Horticulture too.
The upcoming Fertiliser regs intend to improve this area with product claims requiring supporting data.
I am personally looking forward to the challenge of digging deeper into these kind of products and presenting the data.