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REPORT COVERING Open-AllĀ® SOIL REMEDIATION TREATMENT PERFORMED AT ERINVALE GOLF COURSE

By OXYGEN FOR LIFE (PTY) LTD.29 DECEMBER 2004

View results for individual holes:

• hole 1
• hole 2
• hole 3
• hole 4
• hole 5
• hole 6
• hole 7
• hole 8
• hole 9
• hole 10
• hole 11
• hole 12
• hole 13
• hole 14
• hole 15
• hole 16
• hole 17
• hole 18
• Soil Sample Analysis results

Mr Fred Visagie, the Greenkeeper at Erinvale Golf Club decided to treat all the greens with the Open-All® Soil Remediation Product as the course has a number of longstanding problems and he wanted to improve the quality of the greens for the players. He had learnt about the product from a new publication called Landscape SA where the successful treatment performed at the Port Elizabeth Golf Course in the Eastern Cape was reported.

The following problems were being experienced:

• Poor grass growth
• Different grass types on greens
• Hydrophobic soil conditions
• Soil compaction
• Ponding
• Algae
• Discolouration of grass
• Severe heat conditions
• Severe drought conditions

Prior to the treatment being effected, soil samples were extracted from each green for analysis at the Agricultural Research Council in Pretoria. Further soil samples were also extracted on the 12 April 2005 for comparison purposes. Summary of results included in report.

Photographs of the greens were taken prior to treatment on 29 December 2004, again on 19 February 2005 and 12 April 2005.

During our last visit to Erinvale Golf Club on 12 April 2005, Mr. Fred Visagie the Greenkeeper stated:

“ I have been particularly pleased with the results achieved in a relatively short period of time. From a Greenkeepers point of view, the course has become more manageable and less labour intensive as a result of a reduction in watering requirements, particularly on a Saturday when a skeleton staff is in operation.


Watering Requirements

We are definitely using less water as can be evidenced by the higher dam levels. I am not able to quantify this in monetary terms at this stage, but I can confirm that as from February 2005, the irrigation sprays were reduced from 15 minutes to 12 minutes per section. At this stage I am considering reducing the irrigation sprays even further to 8 minutes per section.

The irrigation system has already been switched off since end March 2005 and watering by hand during the day has also been discontinued as the overnight dew has proved sufficient to sustain the grass despite still experiencing day temperatures in excess of 25°C. Last year 1 or 2 hand watering applications were still necessary after the irrigation was switched off during the same period last year.

Prior to end March 2005, hand watering on Saturdays was only performed once per day whereas this was necessary up to 2 or 3 times per day previously. This was particularly pleasing as there is a skeleton staff in operation on Saturdays and hand watering had to be completed by 11h00 whereas the hottest time of the day is between 13h00 and 14h00.

As a large percentage of the greens consist of POA grass, which needs to be cooled down continuously during the hot summer months, the Open-All® treatment has been particularly successful. Due to the fact that the POA grass has now achieved a better quality healthy root growth, POA is now able to withstand the severe heat conditions better than in earlier years, as the root system is better able to compete against the superior root system of the Bent grass.

As the POA grass is now growing well, I have decided to Verti-cut and dust more often to work away the thatch build up on the greens.


Fertilization Requirements

The possibility to reduce the quantity of fertilizer applied from a 2 weekly programme to a 3 weekly programme exists as the grass now retains its quality green colour for longer. It is of course vital that the condition of the grass stays level as a “Dip and Boost” in the condition of the grass will not be acceptable. I have however not yet taken the decision to switch to a 3 weekly fertilization programme and will most probably only do so next season.. The reaction to the applied fertilizers becomes apparent within 1 day, whereas it used to take 3 days to see any improvement. The effect also stays visible and active for longer than previously. This will undoubtedly result in a reduction in fertilizer expenditure although I am unable to quantify this at present.”

We also discussed the Open-All®® treatment with Mr. Kevin Wentzel, the ex General Manager who said:

“ The reduced water requirement subsequent to the Open-All® treatment has enabled us to not only cope with the recent drought conditions but it has also enabled us to improve the general playing conditions for our Players. We have received a number of compliments from Players and Tenants alike. This is obviously also positive from an environmental management point of view and we are particularly pleased with the results achieved within a relatively short timeframe.”


Oxygen for Life (Pty) Ltd. Comments

We are also particularly pleased with the results achieved with the Open-All® Soil Remediation treatment. With golf courses there are some distinct differences when compared to normal yard landscaping and public owned landscaping. These kinds of facilities must have expert care and maintenance because appearance is of paramount importance as golfers and other customers demand quality for the fees they are charged.

Some of the players approached by ourselves indicated that they were most pleased with the state of the golf course. To our surprise they even commented about the fact that the greens appeared to be softer underfoot. This is an accurate observation as this is one of the benefits stated by the suppliers of the product. The effect of this is that players who are normally concerned about how the ball will react when coming into contact with the ground, i.e. will it bounce off the green and be off target? It is a stated benefit that the ball will react more natural and the golfer will really appreciate the course and will want to continue to play at that same course as he knows how it plays.

Open-All®® is a Soil Remediation product and not a fertilizer. Open-All®® facilitates the release of Hydrogen and Oxygen within the soil enabling the soil’s natural re-cuperative powers to enrich and return the soil to its original condition.

Open-All®® is designed to open up the soil which facilitates aeration and permeation of water and nutrients into the soil, change the physical soil condition and structure, improve water retention and encourage the replenishment of soil organisms. This facilitates the filtering of nutrients and water, degrading and detoxifying of organic and inorganic materials and generally create a healthy habitat which controls pests, weeds and disease.

With improvement in percolation, oxygen and hydrogen will be supplied to the soil with each watering. Water goes into the soil accompanying oxygen and carbon dioxide in the air. Therefore, conventional aeration work that normally needs to be performed on the putting greens for the purpose of plant growth and soil improvement may become necessary less frequently after the Open-All®® treatment has been performed.

Essentially the structure of the soil, which plays an important role in the growth of grass, is negatively affected by overuse through compaction, depletion of minerals, over/under fertilisation, etc. Poor soil structure causes low water holding capacity, aeration problems and plant nutrients availabilities.

Traffic patterns cause compaction to occur where golfers have repeatedly walked over the same area with golf shoes. This causes the soil to harden and to harden and kill the grass in these areas. Because of the unique features of Open-All®, this compaction does not occur as rapidly and the grass is allowed to breathe and continue to stay green and healthy.

Many problems are being blamed to golf course operations. There is less water to go around and some communities are against new and existing golf course operations as they view it as a luxury item. Because of the intense need for lush appearance and shortness of grass, much fertiliser is needed to provide this nourishment.

Depleted soils can generally only be brought back by good soil management and use of large quantities of organic fertilisers. However, it is emphasised that revival/improvement of soil structure is a very slow process and takes long time. This Open-All® soil treatment has increased the soil’s filtration and percolation effectiveness enabling water and nutrients to more easily and quickly reach the root zone, ready for being taken up by the grass. This also reduces water runoff and soil erosion, which results in increased fertiliser effectiveness as it reduces nitrogen losses through improved infiltration and percolation of nutrients into the soil. As the moisture content of the soil increases, so does the available water for uptake by the plants and grasses increase.

The reduction in the watering requirements of the greens has in particular been welcomed. It is recommended that the fertilisation programme be similarly reduced.

The soil analyses performed revealed that there has been a positive influence on the plant uptake of Phosphorus, Potassium and Magnesium which, together with the significant reduction of 54% in the high levels of sodium, has resulted in the significant improvement in the grass growth as demonstrated by the photographic account, taken prior to, during and post treatment. Sodium hinders the growth of plants by limiting their ability to take up water.

The slight increase in the Calcium levels can probably be attributed to the fact that the Calcium may have precipitated in the soil as a result of chemical reactions with the phosphate from the chemical fertiliser used. This change is however not of any concern as the calcium levels are reasonable.

Open-All®® treatments are known to suppress extractable Iron uptake by the plant which factor has also contributed to the improved growth of the grass. This analysis did not include the level of iron levels in the soil as adequate proof of this is available from the Agricultural Research Council findings.

There was an increase in the pH levels of the soil samples extracted from all 18 holes of an average of 4% from 8.1 (29 December 2004) to 8.5 (12 April 2005). Ideally the pH levels should be maintained between 7.0 and 7.5.

Considering that the quality of the irrigation water is good, (alkaline level of 25mg/l and pH of 6.25 / pHs [saturation] 9.10) this cannot be the cause of the increase in the soil’s pH. The levels of minerals in the irrigation water are also not high enough to cause this increase in the pH.

The regular use of chemical fertilizers adds salt to the soil and continued use will ruin the soil as it moves into an alkali state. We are of the opinion that this is the cause of the increase in the soil’s pH.

It is therefore recommended that the fertilisation programme be reduced as this is considered to be the cause of the increase in the pH.

The photographic account demonstrates the continued improvement that has taken place since the Open-All® treatment on 29 December 2004.

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