Programming water need
The operation of irrigation systems – either with the installation of fixed pop-up sprinklers or with the use of travelling sprinklers – is essential on sand root zone pitches. During hot dry periods maintaining adequate moisture levels is critical due to the low water-holding capacity of sand. The programming of irrigation should ensure penetration to the depth of the roots and not be restricted to frequent shallow irrigation where water is lost quickly by evaporation.
Irrigation is not generally undertaken on soil pitches though more institutions are seeing the need to water at least during the spring scarifying and over-seeding programme when there is limited time available before the new season starts. The natural tendency in hot dry weather is to apply little water daily. Again, this should be avoided due to the rapid loss of water near the surface. Allowing the surface to ‘dry’ out partially weakens the annual meadow grass encroachment and augers well for the establishment of deep rooted ryegrass cover which is essential where there is intense disturbance on the surface.
Refer to the following articles…
(Turf Business, May/June 2005)
(Pitchcare July 2006)
(The Groundsman, May 2008)
(Turf Business, March/April 2008)