Dry patch – a three pronged approach

By Alistair September 24, 2019 19:21 Updated

Dry patch can be a serious issue for turf managers. Many greenkeepers have experienced dry patch developing on their turf during recent hot dry summers. Here we explore what can be done to tackle this.

Before tackling the problem with a surfactant, it is very important to first distinguish whether the problem is true hydrophobic dry patch, or just a dry area or drought stress. Once the issue is diagnosed it is then very important to use the correct surfactant chemistry for that particular problem. Using the wrong chemistry can result in the fruits of your labour taking very little effect in resolving the problem or could make matters even worse.

Hydrophobic soil

When an area develops hydrophobic dry patch, the turf dries out to the extent that it becomes very difficult, if not impossible to re-wet, even when copious amounts of water is applied. The soil literally repels water.

Drought stress is very different. The moisture levels will still be low, however there is no water repellency present. The dry soil could be due to a number of reasons such as poor irrigation coverage, using the wrong surfactant chemistry, high percolation rate or a sandy area that cannot hold moisture. All may lead to drought stress patches. A simple droplet test will distinguish whether it’s hydrophobic (water repellent) or simply dry patch.

Hydrophobic soil and Aqueduct

If you have discovered that the soil is hydrophobic (water repellent), you need to reset the balance. The unique chemistry of Aqueduct allows you to do exactly this. By applying Aqueduct to these areas, turf managers can quickly reverse water movement issues and fix hydrophobicity, both at the surface and below the soil surface. This will then allow you to apply enough water to bring it back to your targeted moisture levels.

Apply at 20-25L/ha and ensure that the Aqueduct is watered deep into the soil profile. If the symptoms are severe, another application may be necessary a few weeks after.

Localised hydrophobic dry spots

Aqueduct Flex contains the same chemistry as the liquid form but comes as a granular version in a handy resealable bag and is useful for smaller, hard to spray areas.

This very popular product has been successfully used in many ways by turf managers.

  • Bunker faces
  • New turf / seeded areas
  • High mounds / hot spots
  • Walk on / off areas
  • Drainage lines
  • Small localised dry patch areas on greens, surrounds, tees and fairways
  • Divot mix
  • Localised fairy ring and fungal dry patch.

Aqueduct Flex doesn’t scorch and is very simple to apply.

Hand watering with Advantage /

Advantage Plus pellets

When the water droplet test confirms that the area is simply dry and is struggling to hold onto moisture evenly, Aquatrols has the answer with the next generation of Advantage pellets. The superior formulation helps the turf managers deliver water exactly where they need it during hand watering, spot treating or syringing.

You have two options to choose from; Advantage and Advantage Plus pellets. Both have superior benefits:

  • Distribute applied water more uniformly deep into the soil profile
  • Pellets stay intact and dissolve evenly during application.

Advantage Plus Seaweed contains the same superior formulation however it has been combined with high quality seaweed extract giving extra benefits:

  • Promotes fast recovery of stressed turf
  • Stimulates root growth
  • Promotes the growth of healthy, vigorous turfgrass.

Now, more than ever, making the best use of water and other resources is essential and Aquatrols is leading the way. The company has a team of scientists and technical professionals who are continually seeking more effective solutions to address the unique challenges facing the future turf industry and individual turf manager’s needs.

Visit eu.aquatrols.com


By Alistair September 24, 2019 19:21 Updated

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