Monday, 13 February 2012

Feb 2012 0.2L/100m2 Zerotol Evaluation

I first learned about the use of Zerotol (H2O2)(certified organic pesticide) at the 2011 Canadian Turfgrass Conference in Vancouver BC. Apparently it was registered for the control of Fusarium Patch (Michrodicium nivale) which is a major turgrass pest on the West Coast of Canada.  This fungus is active almost every month of the year in coastal British Columbia so I was eager to try it out.

My first application was on May 24 2011 at 0.1L/100m2 (low end of label rate).  I reapplied again on the 30th of May at the same rate.  A week later I had to apply some propiconazole as the Zerotol had no effect on the Fusarium.  I had all but given up on the product.

During this past Western Canada Turfgrass Association Conference 2012 I was talking with a fellow Superintendent and he was saying that he had success using Zerotol at the High end of the label rate or 0.2L/100m2 in the Winter only.  My interest was re-ignited.

So last week I jumped the gun a bit and cut my greens when I probably shouldn't have.  Only 3 greens were thawed enough to cut but apparently not thawed enough.  A week later these three greens were covered in Fusarium Patch.  I learned my lesson and will always check my soil temps before I cut in the winter.

The good thing about this disease outbreak is that it gives me an opportunity to test out the higher label rate of Zerotol on 3 of my greens in the winter time.  If it doesn't work I will spray some Iprodione, no big deal.

So I decided to to a bit of a trial to see what the actual effects of the Zerotol were on my Poa annua greens.

I have a few worries using this product as the Hydrogen Peroxide is non selective so it will oxidise beneficial organisms just as easy and the harmful organisms and theoretically giving the harmful organisms a head start in the re-infection process.  I am no John Kaminski so this could all be a "load of balls."

So my trial consists of taking samples of the three greens that were going to be sprayed.  I took 2 samples from each green before the spray and after the spray.  One of these samples was of an active Fusarium Patch and the other was from a relatively healthy part of the putting surface.  The idea behind this is that if the Zerotol harms the beneficial organisms and proves the above theory correct I should see more disease on the sprayed healthy plugs.....or something. I have placed the plugs in my warm office (21C) to speed up the infection process.  I have also taken picture of the green sites where the plugs where harvested to see how the results differ in the field.  This is important as the Superintendent who I was talking with said that the cooler temperatures were what he thought was the deciding factor in making Zerotol effective in the Winter.
Hole 1Control Day 1
Hole 1  Zerotol Day 1

Hole 9 Zerotol Day 1
Hole 9 Control Day 1

Practice Green Zerotol Day 1
Practice Green Control Day 1

The main purpose of this experiment is to generate interest in the product and hopefully more research will be done at the university level so that we as turf managers can learn about how to best use this product.

I will start another post to compare the samples day to day so stay tuned.

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