Clean, Safe, and Sustainable Alternatives to Salt-Based Amendments

Golf course superintendents know well the challenge to build healthy root mass in turf due to essential mowing that reduces leaf area where carbohydrates are produced, and mechanical disruption which temporarily reduces live root mass that previously enabled uptake to re-establish the plant. Carbohydrates are essential to sustain cell function and build new cells. 99% of living cell materials originate from carbohydrates and water. Mineral salts account for 1% of living hydrated plant matter. Carbohydrates are also essential to soil structure and to sustain symbiotic aerobes in the roots and rhizosphere that help to build and protect the roots.

Water and nutrient uptake required for carbohydrate production occurs mostly in the tender root hairs and root tips that are regularly damaged or lost due to mechanical disruption. High salts, pest infestations, and septic conditions from black layers also cause damage to root hairs and tips that further inhibits uptake capacity. Much of the root stems survive because they develop a protective outer layer. Root stems act more as an underground stem to maintain transport capacity of water upwards and carbohydrates downward but are not as effective in absorption.

Golf courses with high salts have even greater challenges. Soil salt accumulations from effluent water and salt-based amendments ultimately tighten soils, increase evaporation rates, burn root tips and root hairs, and exaggerate black layers. Salts increase oxygen demand which worsens black layer. They also increase evaporation in soils in the same way they melt and evaporate ice. Irrigation and moisture maintenance requirements perpetually increase as salt levels increase. Water and mineral salts primarily move upward in an open channel. Blades and roots progressively die prematurely and increase thatch as soluble salts over-accumulate in the plant.

Mechanical operations are then needed to compensate that increase dead organic matter residue in the soil. Black layers, compaction, thatch, graining, and salt accumulations in golf require expensive and play disrupting hollow core punching, vertical cutting, aeration, and topdress replacement of toxic soils with sand washed free of soluble minerals and spent black ash carbonates to enable growth. Total soil replacement and re-grassing with salt and draught tolerant varieties is becoming more frequent at an extremely high cost.

Carbohydrate demand is high, yet production is low, when young turf needs to establish itself, or when damaged plants need to re-establish their roots or blades. When carbohydrate demand exceeds production capacity, bioavailable carbohydrate food application to the plant, that bypasses synthesis in the leaf, is more beneficial than mineral supplementation that facilitates metabolic reactions. Plants require carbohydrate food for energy and for the components required for growth. Minerals salts are not plant food; they are supplements. When carbohydrate production is deficient, over compensation of mineral supplements produces thinner blades with excessive upward growth because the excessive mineral concentrations stack between the cells as they are moved to the outer margins. Excessive upward growth and graining then causes dependence on growth inhibitors that also weaken roots. Excessive mineral concentrations weaken carbon fiber bonds between cells that give the plant structure and strength. Ultimately they reduce carbohydrate density in plants to significantly inhibit establishment and longevity.

If you don’t have healthy active roots, you can’t have healthy productive plants. Carbohydrate flow to the roots is essential to nourish and expand existing cells, to build new cells, and to sustain symbiotic aerobes that enable root health. Water is the only component taken up by the roots that becomes part of the carbohydrate. Clean water is 100 times more essential to carbohydrate production in the leaf than minerals. Plants grow and remain healthy to the extent they can maintain upward flow of water to the leaves and downward flow of carbohydrates to the roots and soil.


For 20 years our product development associates studied, considered, and tested carbohydrates and proteins stored by plants in seeds and other storage organs to nourish seedlings until they can sufficiently produce their own carbohydrate food; and also those that enable regrowth after leaf loss, dormancy, and/or stress. Necternal now proudly introduces revolutionary carbohydrate-based plant, soil, and water amendments that enhance root development and plant health by supplementing deficient bioavailable carbohydrates when stress factors inhibit photosynthetic production.

Whether produced or supplemented, carbohydrates flow primarily downward through a massive filter of cells to the roots and to other storage organs. Plants do not generally store mineral salts in storage organs or roots. They push minerals to their outer layers of fibrous skin for biocidal protection. Plants store carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and lipids inside their roots and storage organs.

Necternal provides bioavailable carbohydrate-based liquids to supplement those produced by the plant for growth and soil remediation but are deficient due to stress factors or limited production capacity in small plants. The acidic carbohydrates in our foliar spray we call Vitalife are highly absorbable and effective. Vitalife’s supplemental carbohydrates quickly flow down to the roots to create more root hair and tip mass that reciprocally enhances tillering of thick, wide, dense, long-lasting blades that capture more light. Rather than tall thin turf, Vitalife promotes tillering, blade thickness, and longevity that doesn’t require growth retardants or daily cutting. Vitalife naturally reduces graining and enables you to raise the cut height on greens if desired while still maintaining ball speed and direction.

There are three types of organic matter in soils most commonly known as fiber, proteins, and carbohydrates. Black layer in turf is spent black ash carbonates from septic conditions. Black ash carbonates are detrimental salts and are not beneficial organic matter though they contain carbon. Carbohydrates and simple proteins are the only types of organic matter that are clean, clear, soluble nectars. Soluble organic matter is the most beneficial organic matter type, and is the only type capable of coating soil particles to enhance soil structure and holding capacity, or coat salts to reduce toxicity, and enable aerobic remediation of toxins.

Healthy plants produce additional acidic carbohydrates, beyond what is required for cell growth and maintenance, that exude from the root tips and root hairs into the soil creating a rhizosphere affect that improves soil conditions. Soluble carbohydrates and proteins act as super absorbent polymers to enhance water availability. They are chelating compounds like citric and amino acids that naturally enhance nutrient availability. Necternal’s plant nectars naturally reduce fertilizer and chemical requirements and dependency.

Necternal’s associates also created a revolutionary liquid plant acid concentrate we call RediRain that is similar to acidic root exudates. RediRain conditions water and soil naturally to significantly improve infiltration and holding capacity. It is a safe carbohydrate-based acid with a pH of 0.3 to reduce bicarbonates in water and soil. Added carbohydrates naturally stimulate symbiotic aerobes that help to protect and establish roots and remediate soil. RediRain naturally enhances water efficiency and reduces irrigation requirements by making hard water more like rain water that lasts longer and grows better plants. We also enhanced it with our stable Oxygen Release Technology to supply much needed additional oxygen to the soil and roots for black layer reduction and enhanced root health. Dollar for Dollar, RediRain does more to reduce soil issues and graining than wetting agents and mechanical operations combined without disrupting play.

Necternal plant nectars can reduce water requirements by 25% to 35% and improve play by 10% or more. VITALIFE and REDI-RAIN products are ECO friendly. Necternal’s plant nectars reduce runoff from your course to reduce harmful impacts on waterways and aquatic life. IMPROVING ROOT CONDITIONS and SAVING WATER are what VITALIFE and REDI-RAIN are all about.

Benefits of Using Vitalife & Redi-Rain

Reduces Black Layers and Improves Soil Quality

Improves Density, Health, and Appearance of Turf

• Improves Water Efficiency to Reduce Requirements

• Improves Nutrient Utilization to Reduce Requirements

• Reduces Chemical Requirements and Dependency

• Reduces Equipment Requirements and Expense

Reduces Play Disruption of Rain and Tillage to Improve Play

• Requires Less Effort to Achieve Better Results

• Restores Your Peace of Mind and Quality of Life

Now there’s a better way to improve play and conditions while saving water, expense, and effort with Vitalife and Redi-Rain.

Contact us for pricing and availability.