650-23 Wetting Agent Effects on Moisture Distribution within a Sand-Based Rootzone.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008
George R. Brown Convention Center, Exhibit Hall E
Douglas Karcher, Michael Richardson and Aaron Patton, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR
Golf course superintendents typically apply wetting agents (WA) to sand-based putting greens to improve rootzone wettability and treat localized dry spots (LDS).  It is not clear how various WA products affect moisture distribution throughout sand-based rootzones.  Some turf mangers have claimed that certain WA products result in undesirable surface soil moisture levels, but there has been little data to substantiate such.  The objective of this research was to determine how LDS incidence, and soil moisture values and uniformity were affected by the application of various commercially available WA products.  Wetting agents were applied to a sand-based, creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) putting green during the 2007 and 2008 growing seasons and evaluated under conditions of frequent, moderate, and infrequent irrigation.  All of the WA products tested in this study significantly reduced LDS formation compared to the untreated control.  In addition, none of the treatments significantly increased soil moisture values during periods of frequent or moderate irrigation.  The WA products, Cascade Plus, One Putt, and Revolution were the most consistent in improving rootzone moisture uniformity.  These results suggest that specific WA products can be used to manage LDS without adversely affecting rootzone moisture distribution.