Turf colorants weren't always a thing. In fact, it wasn't until the 1990s when they started showing up here and there for coloring the turf's less-than-ideal spots. These colorants weren't good for very much except for staining your hands, your equipment and other surfaces in the spray area.
They also didn't provide any health benefits for the turf. The colorants were used more for aesthetic purposes than anything else. It was when they started adding pigments and colorants to other products like fungicides that they noticed how useful these things could be.
Dyes and Pigments - What's the Difference?
Dyes and pigments are words often used interchangeably in the turf space, but they're actually pretty different.
A dye is similar to a stain. It's transparent and doesn't last very long after it's applied. It's often used as a spray pattern indicator. You'd want to use a dye when you don't want the application to last a long time and when you're just trying to cover up a problem area and want it to fade away.
A pigment is pretty much the opposite of a dye. It's not transparent, so you can't see through it. Think of it like paint. It's long lasting and covers up a problem area for a much longer time.
Pro Tip: Use dyes and colorants on dry grass to prevent staining on shoes.
Benefits of Turf Colorants and Dyes
Dyes and colorants can be used on everything from golf courses to home lawns. They're useful for creating a more evenly green surface and for times when overseeding. Some other benefits include:
- Covers up snow mold areas
- Useful as a spray pattern indicator
- Masks summer decline
- Perfect for slow seasonal transitions
- More uniform look to fairways
- Not very noticeable on the turf
Mystic Colorants and Dyes
Some of the more popular dyes and pigments on the market include our very own Mystic brand spray pattern indicators, lake dyes and turf pigments. These are used by professionals everywhere in the home lawn, golf course management and sports turf segments.
Mystic spray pattern indicators come in green, blue and high-concentrated blue colors to help with marking spray applications. Our Mystic Hue colorant is a green, longer lasting pigment for improving the look when the turf is dormant.
Mystic Verdant is one of the more amazing colorants as it mimics the look of actively growing grass. It can be used on a bi-weekly basis for golf course turf, sports fields and home lawns throughout the winter.
Don't Forget About Lake Dyes
Colorants aren't limited to turfgrass alone. You can also use specially formulated dyes for water such as lakes and ponds. Drop a packet or two in the water, and watch it transform into a pristine blue or black color depending on which one you choose.
Mystic lake dyes come in blue or black and are perfect for non-moving bodies of water, more specifically those found on golf courses. They don't harm fish, fowl or wildlife and make the water more visually appealing with very little effort involved.