Friday, July 29, 2016

Fairway Edges vs. Trees

When the weather is warm and very, very humid, I really decrease the amount of irrigation applied to the golf course.  Grass uses less water when it's humid.  When I decrease the amount of water being applied by 1/2 or 3/4 night after night during the humid weather, the trees still keep taking up water from their roots. Once the humidity breaks, the grass starts taking up water again.  Here lies the problem. 

Where we have a mix of fairway turf and tree roots, our little 1/2 inch annual bluegrass plants in the fairways don't stand a chance against our large adjacent trees and their roots. All of these areas looked great over the weekend but when the weather changed last Monday and Tuesday these areas took a beating from the lack of moisture in the soil.  

To hopefully avoid this damage next time, I've created an irrigation program to only water the irrigation heads next to our trees that compete for water near our fairway edges.  I'll continue watering this program during the humid weather so the soil isn't as depleted of moisture by the time the humidity breaks and there is nothing left for the grass in these areas. Below are a few pictures of these areas.

Left of 17 fairway

Left of 11 fairway

Left of 17 fairway

Left of 5 fairway near the English Oak.
Healthy turf on 11.
12 fairway in mid-season condition.