Monday, August 3, 2009

Mid Summer Soil Correction

We have recently begun to apply our mid summer gypsum application to greens, tees and fairways. The gypsum is used to help flush the high levels of sodium that is found in our effluent water.

Over time the soil takes on the characteristics of the water, which in our case is a very bad thing. Our water source is very high in both bicarbonates and sodium which destroys soil structure and makes growing high quality turf a difficult proposition. As the soils mirror the water quality, they become poorly drained, compacted and the essential elements become bound up in the soil.

In an average year over 550 lbs of sodium per acre is applied to the golf course from irrigation alone. It is no wonder why the golf course responds so positively to natural precipitations cleansing effect. When the heat of the summer hits and rainfall intervals begin to stretch out this is when we struggle most with our water quality and our compromised soils. The gypsum is applied at yearly rates approaching 2500 lbs per acre in efforts to help swing the pendulum back toward healthy soils.

There is a lot of truth in the old statement that "you are only as good as your soil".

Gypsum being applied to a fairway

Close up of Gypsum on a fairway