Field evaluation of wetting agent efficacy against localized dry spot, soil moisture, and root system growth on creeping bentgrass putting green turf - Norac

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Carey, K.
Porter, A.J.
Lyons, E.M.
Jordan, K.S.
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Guelph Turfgrass Institute

The objective of this project was to determine efficacy of wetting agents on creeping bentgrass putting green turf on a high sand rootzone. The experiment was located on the alternative construction putting green at the GTI, which is a typical industry standard green of this type, with 30 cm of USGA specification rootzone mixture on a graded subsoil with tile drains but no gravel drainage layer. The green has developed hydrophobic layers in previous seasons. Environmental data collected included daily max/min air temperature, irrigation records (turfgrass site manager), rainfall and an initial soil analysis: macro and micronutrients, soil type, particle size, % organic matter. Turf health and uniformity were assessed with canopy reflectance measurements. Significant treatment effects on volumetric water content in the plots were also limited. The canopy reflectance data, which is indicative of photosynthetic activity and plant health, showed some clearer patterns. On the dates when the pattern was at its strongest, the order of NDVI values was: Respond 3 curative > NCF-091 2x preventative > NCF-091 1x preventative, NCF-091 1/2x curative > NCF-091 1/2x preventative, NCF-091 2x curative > Respond 3 preventative > NCF-091 1x curative > Control. Treatment effects on hydrophobicity of the soil as measured by the water drop penetration tests indicated some treatment effects, particularly at the higher rates of NCF-091 and shallower levels in the rootzone, but the background hydrophobicity of the rootzone remains very high and patchy.