Thursday, August 29, 2013

Vegetation Control Options for Industrial Sites

Hi Lou

Regarding vegetation treatments for your industrial site.
Under the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban, there are limited options for non-selective herbicides to treat areas where no vegetation is wanted.

Even prior to the ban, most products that would prevent any regrowth for 4-6 months had been discontinued. Those types of products while effective, did their work by staying in the soil for an extended period of time. The downside of those products was that they effectively contaminated the soil for a period of time.

Now after the Ban, products like Roundup can only be used in situations where there are poisonous plants like poison ivy or where there is legislation mandating the removal of vegetation. This would be on sites where there are flammable products stored or near electric transformers.

Most industrial sites do not qualify for the use of Roundup. Even Roundup, will only control any existing plants and does not prevent any seedlings from germinating 2 days after treatment. The only advantage of Roundup is that is does control the weeds right down to the roots.

The products that can be use currently are basically products that kill off the top growth. For young seedlings, killing the top of the plant, the green parts is often enough to kill the plant. On more mature weeds, killing the top part often still allows the plant to regrow from the roots. Compared to merely mowing down the top of the plants, these herbicides will allow some additional time before regrowth happens, but for more complete control, the herbicide would need to be applied anywhere from 3 to 6 times per year.

Depending on your industrial site, it may be possible to reduce weed growth by investing in other methods of control. These are not always permanent solutions and they may not be worth the investment. Of course, depending on the circumstances and the situation, not all are appropriate. 

Some possibilities include:
Paving the area- weeds will then only grow where the asphalt meets the building or curb.
Removing the soil and installing landscape fabric and stone mulch or gravel. This will be sufficient for some time, but weeds seeds will eventually grow in gravel or mulch also.
Sodding- Sometimes a lawn is less maintenance- because it get mowed regularly.
Dense ground cover or shrubbery that does not grow too high but is vigorous enough to keep weeds out.

Gerry Okimi
Turf King Hamilton Halton Haldimand
95 Hempstead Dr Unit 14, Hamilton ON L8W 2Y6

Friday, August 23, 2013

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Newly hatched grubs

Presumably European chafer

Thursday, August 1, 2013

natural turf why it remains the natural choice for football, sports and playing surfaces

natural turf
why it remains the 
natural choice for 
football, sports and 
playing surfaces
The European Seed Association (ESA)There’s no denying that the arguments are compelling on both sides, and it may seem like a tough decision – but it isn’t.
Natural turf brings a multitude of benefits, from its unbeatable environmental credentials to the commonly-held belief that
‘the beautiful game’ simply cannot be played on anything but a natural grassed football pitch.
That said, football’s international governing body, FIFA itself, has lent its support to artificial turf in recent years, aiding
product development and giving rise to its more accepted, widespread use. The technology has, indeed, improved,
overcoming many of the problems associated with early-generation pitches.
But it is also true that the natural solution has come on in great leaps and bounds. Thanks to the ongoing endeavours of
plant breeders within both traditional and innovative new species, grass seed solutions have been introduced that provide
key characteristics such as wear, drought and disease resistance. Maintenance regimes have also been much improved.
The recent South African World Cup is a terrific illustration of this. Natural turf was the predominant playing surface across
the tournament’s stadium pitches and training grounds. This, despite the fact that FIFA mooted playing on all artificial turf
due to the country’s exceedingly hot and arid conditions. But, in practice, and for the most part, natural turf turned out to
be the better option – a great result for grass!
natural or artificial?
If you’re considering investing in the installation or renewal of a municipal or club sports surface, perhaps the most
important decision you must make is whether to specify natural or artificial turf. Decision makers take many different
factors into consideration when deciding on whether to install or renew turf pitches: these can be practical, climatic
and financial, alongside public, political and personal considerations.
the natural choice
With municipalities and sports clubs under increased
pressure to make the most of their sports and amenity
surfaces with minimal inputs and spend, many decision
makers are swayed by artificial turf manufacturers’
promises of longer playing hours, less maintenance
and lower costs.
Do these persuasive facts and figures, together with the
prevalence and approval of artificial turf’s use, prove it is the
superior, more modern choice?
As the voice of the European natural grass seed industry,
the ESA strongly believes that this is not the case and is
keen to promote the benefits of choosing natural turf
wherever and whenever possible.
Here, we’ll explore the advantages of choosing natural turf.One of the strongest arguments for installing natural
turf is that it is by far the most sustainable, and
environmentally- and carbon-friendly option.
We are each of us responsible for our planet’s cleaner,
greener future and have our part, no matter how small,
to play. It is up to individuals to make positive choices, be
that recycling household waste, cycling to work or,
indeed, choosing natural over artificial turf in a
professional capacity.
What’s more, with many clubs and municipalities actively
seeking to cut their carbon footprint or become carbon
neutral, installing and preserving natural turf pitches can be
a vital contributor to this. To illustrate – for every artificial
pitch that is installed, a natural pitch needs to be
established to compensate for the greenhouse gases
produced and neutralise the carbon.
Deforestation is, quite rightly, one of the most decried acts
against our environment. But you may be interested to
learn that the annual oxygen production and carbon
dioxide fixation from one hectare of grass exceeds that of
one hectare of forest.
Grass is vital to carbon sequestration – the process of
removing carbon from the atmosphere and depositing it in
the soil reservoir, which is third only to the other carbon
sequestration reservoirs; the earth’s outermost surface, the
crust, and underground oil and gas reserves. This means
that, hectare for hectare, turf grass will sequester more
carbon into the soil each year than woodland.
Conversely, the artificial yarns or fibres that make up
artificial turf are manufactured predominately from
petrochemicals – one of the main contributors to global
warming. Indeed, 2010 research conducted by the
University of Berkley in the States concluded that: “Artificial
turf releases more greenhouse gases in its production,
transportation and processing than the maintenance of
natural turf ever would.”.
In the ESA’s new ‘Natural turf: why it remains
the natural choice for football, sports and playing
surfaces’ discussion document, we look at these
benefits in greater detail – visit
to request a copy or find out more.
how natural grass can help cut your carbon footprint
natural vs artificial turfgrass: the facts
artificial turf
releases more
greenhouse gases…grass is alive,
vital, fresh…
cost benefits
Natural turf is very cost-effective compared to artificial, as the below ESA figures reveal. Annual costs for an
artificial surface are high; often far higher per playing hour than a natural surface due to the considerable initial
investment costs.
Maintenance costs for natural and artificial surfaces are in fact very similar, contrary to claims that artificial saves on
maintenance. Indeed, many turf professionals report an increase in maintenance costs after installing an artificial pitch
– it’s certainly not a case of installing an artificial pitch and leaving it at that.
Cost comparison between natural and artificial turf pitches
Note: A full breakdown of these figures is available in the ESA’s ‘Natural turf: why it remains the natural choice for football,
sports and playing surfaces’ discussion document or online at
natural vs artificial turfgrass: the facts
Approximate playing hours
Maintenance costs
Total annual costs
Total annual costs
per playing hour
Natural grass turf
€8,000 to €10,000
€16,500 to €26,000
€37 to €58
Natural grass turf
+ 3% artificial fibres
€10,000 to €15,000
€39,000 to €48,500
€52 to €65
Artificial turf
+ rubber infill
1,000 to 1,500
€10,000 to €15,000
€75,500 to €90,000
€63 to €75counting the costs of artificial vs natural turf
human health benefits
Did you know that studies have shown that the smells,
sensations and experiences of being on or near natural
grass bring a number of health and wellbeing benefits? It
can reduce stress levels and even reduce your heart rate.
That’s because grass is alive, vital, fresh; it grows – it makes
people feel happy and healthy. Many players and sports
professionals prefer it. Spectators prefer it precisely because
it brings the unpredictability and excitement to a game that
a sterile, artificial surface aims to eradicate. Parents often
prefer their children play on natural surfaces. Grass stains
and dirt are all part of ‘the beautiful game’. These may be
evocative arguments, but they are true.
There are also a number of health and safety concerns
surrounding the use of artificial turf. There is evidence that
playing on the early-generation artificial surfaces brings a
slightly higher risk of injuries, such as turf toe, anterior
cruciate ligament injuries, foot lock, turf burn and
concussion. The jury is still out on the new-generation
pitches in terms of risk of injury.
But studies have shown a higher incidence of MRSA
(methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infection
among American football players who play and train on
artificial grass. This is because it’s believed the ‘carpet burns’
caused by artificial turf create an entry point into the body
for MRSA bacteria. Natural turf, on the other hand, contains
an array of beneficial bacteria, which self-sanitise the
surface and absorb human bodily fluids like sweat, spit,
vomit, blood and urine, etc, as well as animal excreta and
algae that could otherwise cause infection.
Some manufacturers promote the absence of bacteria
in artificial turf as a positive, but how widely and regularly
are pitch sanitation products used and how effective are
they? And how healthy are they for both humans
and the environment?
Another downside of artificial turf in terms of human health
and player comfort is it gets far, far hotter than natural turf.
A US study comparing a test venue’s average temperatures
between 7.00am and 7.00pm showed that the artificial
surface heated to 47ºC, with a high of 69ºC; compared to
natural turf’s 26ºC, with a high of 32ºC. While irrigation
does reduce temperature, it quickly rises again. Even in
shade, artificial has a higher surface temperature than
natural. This can result in increased fatigue, aggravated skin
and fall injuries and – in the extreme – melted footware,
blisters and burns.
Other cost-factors to consider:
To make an artificial pitch investment worthwhile over
the course of its lifetime, a pitch needs to be played on
for over 1,000 hours per year. But, think about it; that
means at least three hours of play or training, seven days
a week, all year round. Come rain, wind or shine. How many
football and sports clubs, and municipal sites require that
level of use?
Artificial surfaces are often said to have a lifespan of 15
years. But, so far, no such surface has remained in-field for
that length of time. It is now thought that a 10-year lifeexpectancy is more realistic. This increases annual costs
considerably, because the depreciation costs per year are
very high and, in turn, raises the question of how they are
recycled at the end of their life.
When making competitive comparisons, many artificial turf
stakeholders and users fail to take factors such as the
introduction of new and improved grass varieties and
species into account and over-calculate maintenance costs
as a result. Natural turf costs are also impacted by climatic
conditions and the intensity of use – not to mention the
skills and resources of the grounds team.
While natural turf renews and repairs itself, an artificial
surface will deteriorate and depreciate, regardless of how
much you spend on maintenance, from the day it’s
installed until the day it’s replaced.
natural vs artificial turfgrass: the facts