As we mentioned in the article on Humates and Humic Acids, the most important function of soil is the ability to bind nutrients. Both humic acids and especially clay minerals have this ability. These make up a substantial part of the soil’s weight and, due to their structure, can bind large amounts of ions.
Clay minerals are among the so-called secondary minerals, which are formed either by the decomposition of primary silicates or by synthesis from the products of their decomposition.
The adsorption capacity of zeolite is improved by cation exchange capacity
The environment of golf greens, often based on sand, generally has a very low CEC (Cation Exchange Capacity), mainly due to the lack of soil colloids (humic acids and especially clay minerals).
The lack of adsorption capacity of artificially created substrates can be compensated by the addition of clay minerals. They can be added during the construction of the green, by exchanging part of the sand for sand enriched with clay minerals, most often zeolites powder.
Another possibility of increasing CECs is their use in top addressing, on top, or after aeration. It is also possible to use zeolite fertilizers that are based on clay minerals that already bind nutrients.
The cation exchange capacity is up to ten times higher than peat, so when using zeolite rocks instead of peat, we prevent problems with excess organic matter, while maintaining soil adsorption. Nutrients are gradually released from the structure of zeolite minerals, so they are used efficiently over a longer period.
You can read about products that use clay mineral technology on our link: Natural Soil Amendment