Monday, June 25, 2012

Peat Soils During a Drought

With drought conditions, the irrigation has been running more than normal.  The question has come up, "Why are some of the fairways wet in the morning"?  The peat fairways are extremely difficult to hydrate.  At Biltmore nearly 60% of the golf course is on peat ground.  Peat must remain moist, otherwise it becomes very difficult to re-wet and could even catch fire.  Click this LINK to read an article about a peat bog that caught fire this past winter in WI.  I do not think the the golf course will catch fire anytime soon, but as the ET rates build and the drought continues, it is important that the peat remains moist.

In the early AM we spot water areas that are showing signs of becoming hydrophobic.  To help the water penetrate the soils, each year near the end of June we apply wetting agents to the fairways (which was done today, Monday).  This wetting agent helps break the water tension and allow the water to penetrate into the soils  The wetting agent lasts about 90 days. 
For a short video on YouTube of me taking a soil sample from #1 fairway;  click HERE.

With the heat coming, we most likely raise mowing heights on Thursday.  The turf is healthy and we are as prepared as we can be. Hopefully Mother Nature is kind.