Golf is the lifeblood of Innovative Turf Services (ITS), the Virginia-based turf and landscape distributor. Company owner Marc Petrus estimates 95 percent of his company’s clients are golf courses.

Helping clients like Jefferson Lakeside Country Club and Lake of the Woods Golf Course fix their troublesome brown spots remains one of ITS’ real challenges. Fortunately for all involved, McGill SoilBuilder has become a real part of the solution since ITS began using it three years ago. “We’re just seeing much darker, greener grass in areas where this material has been applied than in areas where previous material was used,” Petrus said.

Petrus appreciates that McGill SoilBuilder is finer than other composts, allowing for easier spreading. He also noted it contains less wood filler and more nutrients, helping make grass more drought-resistant. As a result, “the turf in those affected areas really comes back to life,” Petrus said.

And ITS-supplied golf courses are thrilled with the results.  “Everyone loves what they see,” Petrus said. “They’re growing grass on areas where they never could before, giving their clientele better playing conditions.”

“Excellent crop response,”  says Britt Riddle of Riddle Farms in St. Pauls, NC.  “The compost seems to last longer with less leaching than commercial-grade fertilizer.”

A conventional grower, Britt tested fertilizer and compost side-by-side on corn.   His May 2010 test plot pix (right) shows commercial fertilizer left of the ditch and McGillAG compost on the right.

Excellent crop response with reduced input

Britt’s “excellent crop response” is not restricted to corn.  Farmers growing everything from greens to melons have reported good results when using compost alone or in conjunction with reduced commercial fertilizers.  Other input, like pesticides and even irrigation, can be reduced, as well.

For more information about compost’s impact on crop performance, visit our compost sales website at

NOTE:  Some content has been updated since the original post.

Glenn Telfer, a PE with Draper Aden Associates in Richmond, sent us some pixs the other day of one of his projects at a neighborhood learning center where the soil was amended with McGill compost.  “Looks pretty good, especially with no irrigation systems,” he said in the email.  Glenn is one of the authors of a stormwater news blog called The Inlet, where you can get more details in his post about this project.

Hanneman Forest Products

McGill compost sign at Hanneman’s Forest Products

Thanks to one of our resellers, Hanneman Forest Products, for sending us this snapshot of their new custom-made frame for hanging our McGill Soil Builder banner. You can make your own topsoil by blending Soil Builder compost with native soil at a ratio of one part compost to two parts soil, but for those looking for a soil prep short cut, Hanneman also offers a topsoil-compost blend to give plants a great start with a little less shovel work required on your part.

Evidence that compost really works

See the difference compost makes?

No sleight of hand. No magic. No PhotoShop tricks.  Just a customer’s snapshot of organic matter and soil microbes at work.

Left field amended with McGill SportsTurf. Right field — NOT.

Seeing is believing.  Compost really works.  Visit our products website at for more information about compost and its uses.

Seeing is believing.  Try it yourself.

Try a side-by-side test on your lawn.  See the difference?  Post your photos to our Facebook page.

“Unbelievable” is what Matt Harder of Earthworks and Sprinklers muttered when he snapped these photos of a freshly-mowed soccer field with his camera phone on April 11.  What was so surprising about cut grass?  The Bermuda Riviera sod was installed on March 1, only five weeks earlier.

Before laying the sod, Matt broadcast two inches of McGill Sports Turf, tilled to a depth of 6 inches, laser graded, then followed by a pass with his handmade, 4000-pound roller.  Matt told us growth was so responsive, the turf quickly grabbed hold of the soil and was well on its way to seam-up in just two weeks. “It rooted very fast,” he said.  “The color came out in the sod really quick, and the sod took right to the ground.”