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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 70 No. 2, p. 299-304
    Received: May 31, 1977

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Investigation and Treatment of Localized Dry Spots on Sand Golf Greens1

  1. J. F. Wilkinson and
  2. R. H. Miller2



Several experimental sand golf greens were seeded in 1972 to ‘Penncross’ creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris Huds.) in Columbus. Localized dry spots became serious problem during the summer of 1974. Despite heavy, frequent irrigation the soil remained hydrophobic, resulting in patches of dead or severely wilted turf. The turf and thatch would wet, but water would not penetrate the thatch/soil interface. Infiltration rate within the dry spots was studied in the laboratory using a permeameter, and by placing water droplets along horizontally positioned soil cores. Several wetting agent and soil cultivation treatments were utilized in a field study to alleviate the dry spots. The cause of the dry spots was investigated by observing individual sand particles under a scanning electron microscope.

The hydrophobic condition was restricted to the upper 2 can of soil. Infiltration rate within the dry spots was 20% of that for normal turf. Hydro-Wet and Aqua-Gro reduced the severity of the dry spots, but a combination of coring pins wetting agent proved most beneficial. Maintaining moist soil conditions was the best defense against the dry spots. Allowing the soil to become dry makes the hydrophobic condition worse.

Scanning electron micrographs provided evidence of a coating surrounding individual sand particles. The coating had the appearance of fungal mycelium and was organic and acidic in nature. No specific fungus was isolated that could be shown to be the cause of the dry spots.

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