Thursday, July 7, 2011

Effects of drought on golf course

Several people have asked me about why the tees, fairways and rough look brown right now.  The reason we have really green, healthy areas and brown areas has to do with several factors.  The main reason is that we are currently under a moderate drought and have just been through one of the hottest Junes on record.  Other factors have to do with the compaction in the soil, the terrain, and our irrigation coverage.  We do not have irrigation on all areas of the golf course.  There are certain areas that are in play that we cannot irrigate.  Some other areas have rocky soil or excessive compaction so water cannot get to the root of the plant.  This water sheds off of these dry areas and collects in low areas.  The areas immediately surrounding greens are more dry due the different water demands from the greens versus the Bermuda.  We are applying the vast majority of the water to the greens via hand watering so the surrounds are not getting sufficient moisture.   We have been hand watering these areas to keep them from getting too dry.
Although these brown, dry, areas appear dead, they are actually dormant.  When Bermuda cannot get the proper amount of water during the summer months, it can go into a dormancy similar to the winter months.  Once the plant has a sufficient amount of moisture it will "awaken" out of dormancy and green up again.

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