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Overview of Pigments and Paints
Colorants can optimize turf color and quality, improve aesthetics for dormant turf, and some pigments may provide a physiological benefit by reflecting potentially harmful near infrared (NIR) light.

Turf managers have the ability to use colorants for a specific agronomic objective, or simply paint the turf. In general, pigments and paints are chemically similar, but very different physically. Colorants contain specific pigments that produce a ‘green’ or ‘green-blue’ visible color, however its formulation and inert ingredients determine its use.

Colorants designed as paints are often applied to turf in an effort to ’cover up’ or ’mask’ an existing unwanted color or turf condition — and are applied infrequently. Conversely, pigments such as GRIGG™ GreenPIG™ are designed for routine use, and often applied with tank mix partners such as crop protectants and plant growth
regulators or as part of a complete agronomic program. The physical characteristics of the colorant dictate to turf managers how to use these products most effectively.


Physical Characteristics of Pigments vs. Paints
Pigments (e.g. GreenPIG)

Low viscosity and metal load, hence lower weight.

Designed for repeated use and to promote plant health.

Increased reflectance of potentially damaging NIR light.

Formulation/use rates/timings filter more photosynthetic light for absorption and reflectance of NIR light.


High viscosity and metal load, hence higher weight.

Adjuvants to promote ‘stickiness’ - for infrequent use.

Corrosive to spray equipment and may cause pumpseals to leak.

Greater staining potential.


Are Pigments Absorbed by Turfgrass Leaf Tissue?
The answer is likely yes, but we cannot be entirely sure. It had been widely believed that colorants coat the leaf surface and remain there until being mowed off. However anecdotal evidence might suggest that pigments are absorbed. For example:

Excellent color can be maintained for 2-3 weeks after repeated mowing — depending on rate.

Turf response to a GRIGG GreenPIG application can vary on dormant turfgrass compared to semi dormant turfgrass.


Things to Consider When Choosing a Colorant
Clearly differences exist between colorants — which affects the recommended use and subsequent benefit of the product(s). Carefully consider the turf species, stage of growth, and height of cut to determine the correct rate and application frequency. If you select a pigment, apply prior to turf dormancy (while turf is actively growing) and continue using routinely during the entire dormancy period*.

GRIGG research has documented an increase in NIR light reflectance from turf treated with GreenPIG. We continue to create trials and testing to correlate this measurement with decreased oxidative stress.