Chris Bozich of the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, is this month's winner of Growth Products' Best Success Story contest.
A native Californian, Chris is a Spray Technician at the University, owns Lawn Fix tree and lawn care service, and tends to a quarter acre garden in which he grows his own vegetables, mostly from seed. We talked with Chris earlier this month.
I've been working on the university's sports fields for five years, always aiming to create the nice thick green turf I've always pictured in my mind. One field - our baseball field - was eating up fertilizer and not giving the result I was looking for.
The field is a sand based, over-seeded Bermuda field maintained at 5/8th of an inch. We used granular products such as 15-15-15 monthly or slow release products every other month, and had to cope with uneven surge growth, extra mowing, and bagging large amounts of grass with our reel mowers. Also, each granular application had to be watering in, which interrupted our team's baseball practices. Despite our care, the turf was getting weaker and the thatch layer worsened.
Our grounds crew was unhappy with the large amounts of nitrogen and water the field used, and the university's Sustainability Committee urged us to implement a water and carbon footprint audit. Clearly, it was time for a change.
My goal was to find a nutrition program that would create a healthy turf with a consistent growth pattern. I also wanted a routine that would reduce the amount of nitrogen and sodium used, eliminate burning, and eliminate the need to irrigate after each application. I met with Growth Products' Keith Giertych, who helped me put a liquid program together.
Our choice was The Classic 18-3-6 and Nitro-30 SRN 30-0-0 throughout the growing season, with monthly applications of a quarter pound of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. This was a huge decrease in the amount of nitrogen we had been using. With this program, we've seen a steady, consistent green without the growth surges; have saved on mowing and green waste costs; and have dramatically lowered the amount of nitrogen and salt leaching through the soil. We no longer need to irrigate after applications which saves us time and water, and our team practices can go uninterrupted.
Very pleased. So much so that we're using Growth Products on all of our NCAA sports fields at the University. I've also started using Growth Products' liquids in the lawn care company that I own. The liquid applications are easier, less time-consuming, and more effective than granulars, and my customers are glad to not have to deal with uneven growth spurts. Growth Products' Companion® and Essential have also become go-to products for me, and have helped me save trees and shrubs damaged by insects, disease, and overall stress. And of course my vegetable garden is grown with Growth Products.
I'm an outdoor guy. When I'm not working or studying turf industry journals to stay current in the field, I'm out backpacking all over Mt. Shasta, tending to my garden, or floating down the Lower Sacramento River with fly rod.
Many thanks to Chris Bozich and the University of the Pacific for their help with this article, and congratulations to Chris for providing our Best Success Story of the month.
Growth Products has been amazed and impressed with the knowledge and skills of its professional customers. Now is your opportunity to let your Success Story be heard! Visit www.growthproducts.com to enter to win $500 in free Growth Products’ merchandise and to have your story featured in our monthly newsletter. In addition, one Grand Prize winner will receive $2,500 in cash!