Dryer Soil = Warmer or Cooler Soil at The Hartford GC

 In Classic Golf Architecture, Devereaux Emmet, Donald Ross, Greens Drainage

XGD Supervisor David Welsh recently finished up the second phase of a subsurface greens drainage project at The Hartford Golf Club in West Hartford, CT and sent me a “cool” picture(no pun intended) of one of the greens during the snow melt period after a 4″ snow event:

Check out the advanced snow melt over our XGD laterals spaced at 6′, as well as the thinner snow between the laterals as compared to the heavier snow in the foreground of the picture. I have blogged on this before, but I am not sure I have a better picture to represent the effectiveness of greens drainage, in this case, or drainage systems in general spaced to lower gravitational groundwater tables enough to create the desired effect above.

When gravitational groundwater (unavailable to the turf plant) is removed or controlled, the effects on the soil are tremendous. We routinely notice a two week advancement of soil temperature in the spring, and the soil temps staying warmer two weeks in to the late fall period as shown above, which add up to an extra month/year of turf root development providing higher drought tolerance during the heat of the summer due to a hardier turf plant.

But, we don’t want those turf roots hotter in the summer? No, we sure don’t. In fact the opposite occurs in the heat of the summer.  A properly spaced and designed drainage system removes the groundwater in the summer as well, which helps cool the soil during these stressful times of the growing season, rather than boiling your turf roots, XGD provides minor cooling relief throughout the air and pore space in your subsoil. Sometimes a few degrees lower soil temps can make the difference between a healthy green and an unhealthy one.

In summary, our process is another useful tool in the arsenal, one that need not be applied on a monthly or yearly basis, rather a one time infrastructure expense for your greens or fairways, as our oldest greens drainage project has been performing admirably for 20 years now.

Poor Old Dirt & Grass Farmer

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