Friday, January 18, 2019

Well the dry continues and the courses are really starting to show the effects.  We did get this dry last year so it's not something new, but with no rain in the forecast it doesn't look good.  At least last January we had 50mm of rain in the first week and then nothing until February / March delivered 520mm or 21 inches in old talk.  Hopefully some rain will come sooner than later.  The photo below shows 18R fairway on January 24 last year compared to today below it.  The drain line showing is a key sign of just how dry it is.

18R January 2018.

18R January 2019.

The irrigation system is struggling to keep up and is operating at full capacity on a nightly basis.  One of the big issues we have is the varied soil conditions with many virtually water repellent sands in many areas of the courses.  The photo below shows an area adjacent to a sprinkler on 1W fairway that you would swear isn't working.  But rest assured it is as are all the sprays in similar situations.  What makes it even more interesting is that the fairway sprinklers are 2 speed and the area to the side of the fairways where most of the dryness is occurring is where the sprinkler turns slowest.  However with no overlap from other sprinklers there is just not enough water that can be put out in the current weather conditions and with our pumping capabilities.

There are products known as wetting agents that we use on the greens to assist in maintaining some moisture content in the soil profile but we just don't have enough water to help them stay activated for long enough on fairways and hence have stopped using them.  Not to mention their cost and the logistics of spraying them out in amongst all our other spray programs and the trials we have done on the fairways to date have been largely inconclusive.

The sprinkler is working!!

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