Turfgrass Ice Damage

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I have been observing a fair bit of ice damage over the past few weeks in my golf travels. This results in a common question to me such as “can XGD really help us out in this situation?”. Well, yes and no on this one.
There are a host of different variables that cause ice damage to occur, and are too numerous to mention here. Let’s just keep it simple and say that ice damage may occur after ice has formed on poa annua(annual bluegrass) for 45 days or more. While bentgrass greens may handle 90 days of ice before damage happens. Of course these are very general numbers but I am in the ballpark. The freeze/thaw cycle is also very key in this issue as recent northern US winters aren’t quite what they used to be.
So can installing a subsurface greens drainage system help you out in these scenarios?
Yes, before the ground freezes, drainage on golf greens is active and helping drying out the upper soil profile, removing surface water before it freezes. Yes, after the ground thaws. As soon as the frost is out of the ground, the XGD System begins doing its thing immediately. Keep in mind as that if you did get ice damage, and are seeding to get these areas patched up we can help you as well because we have observed that the soil temperature on an XGD green will warm up about two weeks faster than other greens at your club without internal greens drainage. This happens as the drainage pipes remove the gravitational ground water acting as a cool conductor of soil temperature. As our drainage system removes the useless gravitational ground water, the soil is allowed to heat up much more rapidly. This two week window of increased soil temperature is critical as superintendents try to germinate seed in the ice damaged areas, and may make the difference between a recovery in the damaged areas, and the use of bentgrass sod to complete the recovery. (a final undesirable last resort in my opinion)
No, while the ground is frozen, sorry not much we can do if the soil completely freezes.
I will share an old trick that a lot of our clients are taking advantage of recently, and that is recognizing your potential problem areas on your golf greens where ice damage historically occurs and cutting a golf cup directly over an XGD lateral or mainline. By leaving it open over the winter, you will allow surface water to more rapidly enter our drainage pipes.
So contact us at XGD Systems http://www.greensdrainage.com/ to begin a dialogue with us, and possibly our golf greens drainage solution might be another tool in your arsenal against ice damage.
Bye for now, Poor Old Dirt & Grass Farmer
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