Wednesday, June 15, 2016
I will take "real rain" for $100 Alex....
The photo of the plug taken out of the ground shows very little moisture in the top portion of the plug. This time of year the roots are low and we want to punch the water down. The subsequent photos show just how dry that plug is, the soil crumbles into a dry powder. Superintendents often talk about thatch and controlling excessive amounts of thatch. The thatch in our fairways acts like a sponge and prevents water from moving down to the roots. Warm dry days with low humidity and light wind (like we have had), will pull moisture from the upper layers of thatch readily. Even though we have been watering, we can't put enough water down to move through the spongy thatch. The moisture we add overnight is simply pulled into the atmosphere during the day.
To try and manage these situations, we also utilize products called wetting agents or penetrants to reduce the water tension, and help the water down. Some guys will even take to strange customs like drawing turtles in the western-most bunker, but that's another post someday.
So, if you see us out hand watering today, we haven't gone crazy..........yet.