The Effectiveness of Rain Water on Turf

In an earlier Turf Tip we discussed the effect of the wet spring on the grass plant root system making it more susceptible to heat stress. A lot of us have seen that happen. When the warm dry weather finally arrived many were drying out much faster than they anticipated. We have received a short reprieve and have an opportunity to catch up. Use the rain water to your advantage.

This is true: Years ago a German rocket scientist, who had designed an irrigation system from tree tops for a golf course, told me that his only problem for making it work like rain was that he could not find a way to give the water droplets a plus charge. He had determined that the plus charge that the rain drops possessed made “natural rain” more effective than irrigation water. He claimed that it jump started the microbial action in the root zone.

Whether or not it is true it made good sense to me. Otherwise what is the explanation as to why rain water seems to give the turf an instant “green up” . The rain water is acting somewhat like a soil penetrant thus wetting the areas that normally shed water. Whenever possible follow the rain with irrigation water rather than letting it dry up completely before you begin irrigating.