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187 Carl H. Oppenheimer Golf Course Report

Carl H. Oppenheimer, PhD

Environmental Consultant

P.O. Box 5919, Austin, Texas 78763

(512) 474 1016-- Fax 472 2909


Golf Course Greens Treatment

The Oppenheimer Formula

August 11, 1995

This is a description of a new biological process designed to reduce the adverse buildup in soils, of organic material layers, pesticides, herbicides and black layers in Golf Course greens, and to strengthen the grass to make it more resistant and faster growing.

The development of an integrated population of selected specialized microorganisms that work together in communities can control the ecological balance of a greens grass community.  The application of this microbial community along with a chemical nutrient and application evaluation, the buildup of interfering barriers to soil water movement by organic matter and black layers in the soil can be eliminated.

The black layer commonly found in greens is due to a combined action of general microorganisms in the soil that consume residual oxygen, followed by a process called sulfate reduction by strict anaerobic bacteria. This group of microorganisms uses organic matter as an energy source and the oxygen available in sulfate. The elimination of the oxygen is caused by soil microorganisms that use the molecular oxygen to oxidize the organic matter. They are encouraged in soils with high organic matter and in a waterlogged condition.

The combined result of these several processes produces hydrogen sulfide that chemically combines with free iron to produce black iron sulfide. As long as the area remains anaerobic the black layer will persist. Saturated soil will reduce diffusion of oxygen through the sediment.

The black layer can be eliminated by the interaction of several steps that introduce oxygen by a catalyst or mechanical aeration and the reduction of the use of sulfides from gypsum, sulfuric acid or ammonium sulfate. All these latter chemicals can be substituted with non sulfate materials. This will reduce the availability of sulfate to the sulfate reducers.

The Oppenheimer formula provides a rapid biological oxidizing system of effective microorganisms that will reduce the organic rich layer in the presence of a minimum of oxygen. They also act to compete for the available sulfate.  The microbial mixture will also slowly oxidize most pesticides or herbicides. However this action is slow enough to allow the chemicals to work as normal but is valuable in reducing the residual chemicals and the potential effluent from the greens to surrounding soil or water areas.

Oppenheimer Biotechnologies can also provide the Martin biocatalyst that will aid in the promotion of atomic oxygen in the soil and in some instances increase the salt tolerance of the plant. This catalyst in conjunction with the microorganisms can work together to enhance the production of plants in stressed conditions.

It has been long known that root function in plants has a symbiotic relationship with soil microorganisms.  The term for the sphere of activity of the microorganisms and roots is the Rhyzosphere. In this zone, the mineralizing activity of microorganisms supply essential inorganic nutrients and trace organic stimulating substances such as carbon dioxide, vitamin B12, humic acids, Gibberellins, etc. The average number of microorganisms for unfertilized soil ranges from 2 to 14 million cells per cubic centimeter.  Our inoculum concentration adds almost an equal amount of specialized microorganisms.

The microorganisms break down organic materials, mineralize soils and rocks to produce elements such as silica etc., produce soil conditioners such as humic acids, provides chelating molecules that condition the release of trace elements and serve as food for earthworms and other invertebrates that aerate the soil. They may also fix nitrogen and sulfur and produce carbon dioxide

Because of the diversity of both microorganisms and environmental conditions in soils it is difficult to determine the individual role of one species. In nature the microorganisms operate as a community involving the co metabolism of interrelated species.

All these functions may provide a habitat that is favorable to the root functions of mineral and water uptake. Some parts of the rhyzosphere may provide the fixation of nitrogen gas to provide nitrogen to the root.  Such microorganisms are the blue green algae, Rhizobium, and Clostridium or sulfate reducers.

Extensive trials of the Oppenheimer Formula in potted soils, seed germination greenhouse production of carnations, cucumbers, egg plant and strawberries and in vegetable gardens has provided growth data indicating that the proper application of the Formula may double plant activity and increase shelf life. The Formula One is mixed directly in the soil at a concentration of one tablespoon per cubic yard or approximately 500,000 cells per gram. Organic material to be composted can be treated with the formula at the same application rate, and then used in planting.

Our experimental evidence is empirical, based not on bench tests but actual response of the plants.  It is our belief that our microorganisms, cultivated on hydrocarbons as a sole source of carbon and in a mineral solution similar to the ancient oceans, contain very old archaeobacteria that were responsible for the first biological reactions in the living system.  Part of our achievements in growth enhancement were conducted with hydrocarbon contaminated soil where the microbes converted the hydrocarbons to fatty acids that were consumed by the soil population of amoeba, earthworms , microorganisms as an energy and carbon source. In addition the fatty acids have a surfactant effect assisting in water and mineral movement through the soil.

These microorganisms working in consort with the plant root structure enhance mineral uptake to promote photosynthesis.  The net result is a healthier, faster growing and more resistant plant.

Our background of empirical field information on plants and a thorough knowledge of the physiology of sulfate reducing bacteria, leads to the effective treatment for golf course green stimulation and improvement.

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