Renovation season is just around the corner and there are a couple different options available when regrassing. Traditional renovation methods involve killing the existing area with a non-selective herbicide before re-establishing. Soil-fumigant type materials are often used on putting greens to eliminate weed seeds, soil-borne diseases, and nematodes. Methyl bromide, a colorless, odorless soil fumigant, works very well but is being phased out and soon will not be available for use. Basamid can be used as an effective alternative.
Basamid is currently the only granular soil fumigant on the market. The product is activated when moist soil converts the granular material to a gaseous compound which disperses through the soil. Below are some tips for using Basamid. Complete application instructions and label information can be found at the Certis website (http://www.certisusa.com/index.htm) and should be consulted before using this product.
Tips for using Basamid
Properly prepare the area – The effectiveness of Basamid will depend on how well you prepare the area. There are two options for preparing areas with cool-season grasses:
1) Scalp the area to be renovated as low as possible. Core aerify the area (possibly multiple times) and remove the cores before applying Basamid.
2) Cut and remove sod from the area to be renovated. Till the area to alleviate compaction and regrade before applying Basamid.
Regardless of the method you choose, the key point to remember is the more disruption you create, the more effective the product will work.
Obtain a quality drop spreader – Since Basamid is a granular material the only application equipment needed is a drop spreader. However, the product is extremely fine-textured so make sure your spreader is able to completely close to avoid misapplying any product.
To cover or not to cover – After applying the Basamid, the surface of the soil must be “sealed” to keep the gas in the soil profile. This can be achieved a couple of different ways. One option is to apply irrigation for 5-7 days after application to keep the soil sealed. The other option is to cover the treated area with an impervious tarp. In my experience, tarping the area is well worth your time. Research also shows that using tarps results in greater control of annual bluegrass seeds. If irrigation is to be used, avoid overwatering especially on slopes to prevent the material from washing towards desirable plants and water.
Conduct a germination test before planting – The labels lists 10 to 12 days as the interval you should wait before reseeding. To be sure, it’s a good idea to conduct a safety germination test. Take a small amount of soil from each treated area and fill a jar or paper cup with each sample. Sow a small amount of lettuce seeds in each sample and see what germinates. If the safety germination test is a success then it’s safe to plant your seed.
For more information and tips regarding Basamid for golf course renovations see: http://www.certisusa.com/pest_management_products/fumigant/basamid_g_turf.htm
Graduate Research Assistant