Friday, July 14, 2017

When It Rains It Pours

In the past week, we received over 3" of much needed rainfall.  This was the first significant rain amount since the middle of May.  Our June total was 1.3" which is well below an average month for us.  The rain has it's obvious benefits to the golf course such as providing adequate moisture as well as giving the irrigation pumps a rest.  However, the abundance of rain has caused a few soft areas.  The excessive moisture is also a catalyst in disease development in which we have witnessed some.

Most superintendents would choose no rain versus too much.  We are normally in the same boat.  The one exception to this rule is when we experience a long period without a significant rain event.  Our irrigation system can add adequate moisture most of the time.  The problem is that our water source (well water) is high in bicarbonates.  Frequent watering raises the bicarbonate level in the soil which begins to tie up important nutrients.  The soil will not function as efficiently making it more difficult to get the soil "wet" for the turf.  Bicarbonates have a high pH.  Rain water has a more acidic pH.  As a result, when a significant rain event occurs, the more acidic rain water strips all the bicarbonates and releases the nutrients and "resets" the chemistry of the soil.

Needless to say, we were happy to see the rain come through.  It gives us and the turf a chance to breath a little.

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