Make Painting Season Less Painful

How PRGs can help you save paint and hours…

School is rolling along and fall sports the focus, and that means it’s painting season! We who maintain baseball and softball fields stumble along all season painting a handful of lines at most, but it’s those who maintain football and soccer fields who are the true painting pros out there with all of the routine painting they need to do at this time of year. The professionals and colleges paint weekly for bright, vivid athletic masterpieces.

Lower levels of play struggle more to get their fields painted due to tight financial budgets, lack of sufficient time to get on the fields for painting, or issues that stem from not having knowledgeable and capable people available to perform the layout and painting tasks.

These situations deserve the consideration of using Plant Growth Regulators (PGRs). PGRs will help paint last longer on your fields. When mixed at the proper rate with diluted field paint, PGRs can allow painted field lines and artwork to last anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks longer on the turf surface before repainting is needed. This provides many advantages, such as:

  • a reduction amount of paint used in a season.
  • a considerable savings in labor or volunteer hours needed to paint.
  • less wear and tear on field painting machines.

The most common PGR for this exercise is Syngenta’s Primo Maxx. It features 11.3% of the active ingredient Trinexapac-ethyl — now available under other generic brand names such as T-NEX 1AQ by Quali-Pro. By adding just 1 ounce of this PGR to each gallon of your diluted/mixed field paint, it will extend the life of your field lines and logos for 2 – 3 weeks. That’s a real time saver!

The PGR works by inhibiting gibberellic acid which controls cell elongation in the turf plant. With this hormone limited, the plants cells do not elongate thereby helping to greatly slow or stop the top growth from occurring in the plant. However, it does help to promote a denser turf due to increased tillering and the shorter cells means increased chlorophyll content in the cells creating a darker green turf plant.

Last year at our Little League complex, we painted our lines on the ballfields four times between the last week of April and the first week of July. Our fall ball program, which runs 6 weeks only needed painting twice during the fall season.

Before using PGRs we were painting once a week. This change saved the league considerable amounts in paint and labor hours. We are actually expanding our use of PGRs this season to other challenging turf maintenance issues.

Paul Zwaska

A former head groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, Paul has been with Beacon for more than two decades. Among his many accomplishments he authored Groundskeeper University, the first online ballfield maintenance training venue. Paul continues to seek innovative ways to help groundskeepers.

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