Learn to Build a Better Lawn with BRIX
Depending on who you are and why you ended up on this page, you may or may not know anything about BRIX. That’s OK. If you already know what BRIX is, I’m probably going to express a few new tidbits about BRIX that you have never been told before.
If you don’t know anything about BRIX prepare to be amazed at the fact that nobody has ever explained this to you before – because it is SOOOOOOOO crucial to improving plant health and eliminating insect, fungus and disease problems.
So, What Exactly IS BRIX?
Well, it’s often referred to as the “sugar” or sucrose content of plant or produce fluid, but this is a terribly simplistic and incomplete view of what BRIX is. Although a high BRIX value certainly indicates high sugar content, in actuality, it refers to the total soluble solids (TSS) in the juice of the produce or sap of the plant. Total soluble solids refers not only to sucrose (sugar) but also to fructose, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, hormones, and other solids found in the plant, fruit or vegetable.
The higher the TSS, the higher the BRIX value. The higher this value, the healthier and more nutrient/mineral rich the plant or produce is. Thus, as relates to farming and gardening AND lawn care, the produce from high BRIX plants will also be high BRIX and will offer the greatest nutritional and “energy” value to the one eating that produce. Thus, animals and humans will receive the greatest health benefit from fruits and vegetables having the highest Total Soluble Solids (and from the meat of animals that have eaten grasses of this quality).
So, How Does This Help Your Lawn & Turf?
Why should you care about any of this, outside of the fact that this information might be useful in making decisions regarding your eating habits? Why does this have any relevance to your lawncare practices? Well, first of all, raising the sugar content of your grass will reduce insect problems significantly.
You see, in order to properly digest sugar, one must have a liver. God did not design insects with a liver, and, although there may be other reasons that He chose to leave this little item out of the anatomy of bugs, one that is particularly helpful to those of us humans is that a liver is necessary to digest sugar.
So, if an insect, which is lacking this organ, ingests sugar, that sugar will eventually turn to alcohol and kill the insect. Interestingly enough, insects “know” this, and plants with high BRIX value (and, as a result, high sugar content) will emit different UV light patterns and electrical charges which communicate to insects that they should stay away.
Really. I’m not making this up. Promise.
Consequently, this SHOULD be incredibly helpful to us because, IF we paid attention, the presence of an insect infestation would be a clear indication that whatever plant we are trying to grow is not very healthy. The sugar and other nutritional content that SHOULD be present within the sap of that plant simply is not there. Otherwise, the insects wouldn’t be interested.
Unfortunately, it has become the norm to ignore those warning signs and simply kill off all the bugs – either with some toxic chemical or with some natural alternative. Of course, of those two options, the natural insecticide is certainly the better option, but it still does not address the central problem of this situation. The bugs are there for a reason. The plant is not healthy. Make the plant healthy and the sugar content of the plant will rise, and the insects will move on to a more attractive food source, leaving your lawn to thrive.
How Can You Use BRIX to Your Advantage?
Well, since we can easily measure the TSS of ANY plant (a simple $50 handheld BRIX Refractometer does a good job), and it provides the same information to us regardless of what plant it is, we can easily “measure” the health of our lawn in mere minutes, anytime we like. If you are a lawncare professional, and you are using growing practices that will truly improve turf grass health (and not just give it a temporary “facelift”), you can use this as a simple and tangible way to PROVE to customers that your methods work.
The higher the BRIX value, the healthier the plant. In fact, a value of 12 or higher is all it takes to nearly eliminate insect infestation of any plant. The higher the better. Values for many plants can actually reach well over 20 or 30. Some suggest that REALLY good nutrition of a plant can actually raise those values into the hundreds, although most people wouldn’t consider this realistic.
Either way, most plants these days (especially chemically grown ones – but also some organically grown ones) have such low BRIX (typically no greater than about 6 or 8 and often much lower) that insects will feed on them all day long.
Fortunately, raising the sugar and nutrient content of a plant is really quite simple. Provide good nutrition, including a balanced diet of macro and micro-nutrients, minerals and trace elements.
Truly natural, organic fertilizers and soil amendments will provide much better nutrition to any plant than chemical fertilizers will. Some fertilizers will raise BRIX values more effectively than others. For instance, kelp fertilizers are probably the fastest and most effective means to improving the overall nutrition of any plant (and, therefore, the TSS) because most kelp fertilizers are made from Kelp grown in VERY cold, virtually toxin free and nutrient dense waters, such as the North Atlantic.
Since kelp is a plant itself, the macro and micro nutrients it provides are completely balanced and easily available to any plant. Thus, the addition of kelp to any fertilization program is probably the easiest way to increase the BRIX value of that plant. So, adding regular doses of kelp to your lawn fertilization program will improve the overall health of your lawn and will minimize insect problems – eliminating the need for most pesticides (chemical or organic).
Accordingly, I am suggesting to you that, if you have any sort of insect problem, it is a FACT that your turf is receiving very poor nutrition, and is, therefore, very sickly, even if it doesn’t necessarily LOOK sick at this particular moment. Improve the nutrition the grass is receiving and the bugs will move elsewhere. I promise.
Will High BRIX Combat Fungus & Disease?
Yep. It helps there too. Truly healthy plants simply do not contract fungus and disease problems. Just like truly healthy people don’t often get sick, healthy plants don’t really get sick either. Raise the BRIX – get rid of disease and fungus problems.
The Bottom Line
Whether you use AGGRAND organic fertilizer products or not, find a way to incorporate healthy, natural, nutrient dense fertilizers and amendments into your lawn care or turf management program. AGGRAND 4-3-3 and 0-0-8 product both contain significant amounts of sea kelp, which is a quick and easy way to raise BRIX levels significantly.
However, this is not the only way. Take the time to read through our product and support literature to determine if AGGRAND is really right for you. If not, just find something to improve the nutrition your lawn is receiving, and get yourself a refractometer so you can keep tabs on the increase in BRIX you’re going to see. It’s actually quite fun to keep track of it and watch it improve. You could even use it as a fun science experiment with your kids.
Either way, in the end, high BRIX turf grass is healthy turf that will be able to withstand much more stress without any visible strain whatsoever.