H2O Golf Greens Flushes

 In Classic Golf Architecture, Donald Ross, Greens Drainage, Long Term Effectiveness of Drainage, Soil Gas Exchange

I recently noticed another tweet that the golf superintendent was more than a little upset after an irrigation head was stuck on around a green all night long. One would surmise that they might even be a bit more exasperated if that was a pushup green without any internal subsurface greens drainage.

But, I beg to differ, although sure, the effects of that irrigation head being stuck on would not be felt initially as much on a sand green or a modified pushup green with internal drainage, I believe the positive effects are similar. While the short term potential issues are obvious on a hot summer day mixing with that flooded subsoil, the super will have to cross his fingers getting by that first day or two, but if the green survives that, and most all will, the positive effects will begin to flood in, so to speak.

In my experiences, we have come across this very issue quite a bit in my 25 years in the business. I now have to say that almost in every case, that the above completely flooded greensite becomes the healthiest green on the property in about a week’s time.  It is not just that it just received a deep and infrequent irrigation event, although that is the source of the new found health of the green, but I believe it is the byproducts of that deep irrigation flushes of one, two, or three flushes that may have occurred on that dreadful night a week ago. If it had internal drainage, saturation point may have been reached two or even three times which means three deep and infrequent irrigation cycles in one evening?    Just imagine the bad internal soil gas that was flushed out of your greens cavity, while plant sustaining oxygen was sucked in each time. If one could measure that gas exchange the numbers would be astounding in my opinion. Folks, that is why I always hear that in the long term, that green has been my healthiest since that fateful night when the irrigation gods did you a wrong, or did they?

Even if you have no internal drainage, your greensite still would have flushed once or twice, and you would still be feeling the effects of a hugely beneficial internal soil gas exchange.Obviously, after a gully washer type of precipitation event at any facility the grass green up is inherently obvious about a week out, as your whole facility just received the benefits of one of Mother Natures deep and infrequents, and she flushed out a lot of harmful soil gas without the aid of overhead irrigation.

So, this blog is really just something to ponder next time that greens head sticks on or you notice that full course green up a week after the heavy rain. In the long term it is a really great thing happening, if you can nurse through those first few days of over saturation. So, reach out to us at XGD if we might be able to help you gain a little more control on your subsoil moisture before and after that deluge occurs be it naturally or unnaturally.

Cheers, Poor Old Dirt & Grass Farmer

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