At the Golf Industry Show in San Diego, Frank Rossi, Ph.D., turf extension specialist at Cornell University, discussed turfgrass color, specifically the influx of pigment products into the market. A low percentage of superintendents use pigments now, but Rossi expects that changing during the next five years.
A criticism of using pigment products is that they can mask something superintendents need to see on the turf. Rossi says the slightest imperfection in annual bluegrass causes many superintendents who manage it to overreact and make knee-jerk decisions.
"I'm happy to paint annual bluegrass green so we see less colors in the turf," he says. "With bentgrass, though, one might take a different approach."
Furthermore, pigments block ultraviolet light, which causes more oxidation in and damage to the plant, so pigments help protect the plant from the damaging effects of light.
To date, all research points to the benefits of using pigments without any downsides, but Rossi says superintendents need to continue to discriminate when buying these type of products.
- John Walsh