Friday, April 13, 2012

Drainage and irrigation

Two of the most important aspects of providing quality turfgrass are drainage and irrigation. We have begun the season early this year, I don't ever remember running irrigation cycles in March.
The photo below is what we call a "sticker.". Sometimes the irrigation heads "stick" and they run for several hours. This "sticker" is on three blue. The good new is that it is so dry, the ground we absorb this water in no time at all.
Also featured in a photo is the natural aging of drain pipes, we cut this one open to see why it was not functioning. What we found was a pipe filled with dirt and rock. This one may be beyond the point of cleaning, depending on the amount of root mass inside.
Aesthetically, the golf course is brown, and some would say ugly. The USGA, GCSAA, and the PGA, have engaged in sustainability and playability efforts to promote the idea that "fast and firm," is how golf courses should play. The "fast and firm" supporters fail to realize that in areas of the country such as ours, "fast and firm" during the summer months will become "brown and dead."
Cool nighttime temps and mild high temps in the afternoon, allow me to keep the course more dry, and stress these areas. Mid-summer conditions of high sunlight intensity and long hot periods with little cool-down, do not offer this same luxury of stressing the turf.
While I support judicial water use and a new standard to support sustainability, we have a long way to go in educating the golfer and general public of what is rational, and what is fairy tale.
If you are like me, an enjoy firm and fast conditions, enjoy this wonderful spring, you never know how long it will last.
Bump and run,

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