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Localised Dry Patch Update

LDP Affected green after heavy rain

Already the relatively dry April and start to May has seen bowling greens suffering from Localised Dry Patch (LDP).

As we have discussed many times on this site before, this condition is a major problem for bowling clubs throughout the UK and if your bowling green is aready showing the tell tale signs then you need to take rapid and relentless action to avoid major disruption to your bowling green surface this season.

Meantime for greens already showing signs of the problem here is my suggested course of action:

  1. The key objective at the moment is to concentrate on getting the soil in the affected areas to re-wet or at least become less hydrophobic.
  2. Immediately mini-tine the affected rinks to create some linkage through the thatch layer to the under lying rootzone.
  3. After mini tining you should apply a granular wetting agent and make sure this gets well into the holes; water the green as required.
  4. Take care when irrigating the green, as over watering can cause the areas not affected by LDP to become too lush and thatchy; causing disease and sinkage. This might mean hand watering if the remainder of the green is getting enough moisture from rainfall
  5. In addition to the granular wetting agent and regular irrigation practices you should purchase a hand held wetting agent applicator that fits on to the end of a hose. These accept wetting agent tablets or pellets and you should hand water the affected areas until flooded using this device on a daily basis, even during rainy periods.
  6. Sarrell roll the green at least once per week (or at least the affected areas); Sarrell rollers create thousands of shallow holes over the green surface and allow the water to penetrate the soil surface more readily.
  7. Continue this program alongside your normal fertiliser program until there is a significant visual improvement
  8. Do-not scarify or verti-cut the affected areas during the recovery period
  9. Raise the mowing height on the green or at least the affected rinks to 6mm
  10. Take core samples from the affected areas at regular intervals to gauge the amount of re-wetting that is taking place.
  11. Embark on a thatch reduction program in autumn
  12. Cease top dressing with high sand dressings
  13. Continue regular aeration of the green throughout the winter period

This should help you to get on to the most pressing work, but please keep checking back here for updates.


    • admin says:

      TThanks for your question Glyn

      You should always check compatibility with the product manufacturers before proceeding with any tank mix, but generally there should be no problem using wetting agents and fertilisers in liquid form.


    • admin says:

      Thanks for your comment Bob.
      In this case I am recommending a granular to get started on an already badly affected green assuming that the green or rink would be closed for the duration of the work. The granular product will tend to stay within the core hole depth (2-4 inches) for longer and aid the start of recovery more readily. Liquid products would be used on an on-going basis and of course would not leave granules on the surface during the playing season. John

  1. Inch by inch says:

    Hello John,
    I am planning on scarifying our green as soon as the weather improves ,what temperature should the ground be to scarify?the other part of the same question is we want to get the green hollow cored the person doing the job says that the ground won’t be war enough until the 2nd half of April again what temperature? We plan on opening for play on 27th April I feel there would not be enough time for the green to recover are my fears justified would it be wiser to pencil Tyne instead of hollow coring?The person doing the job says he will iron the green if necessary is this a good idea?Here is hoping you will answer this complicated question

    Inch by Inch

    • admin says:

      Hi Inch by Inch

      The answer to this one is easy, when there is active growth to allow fast recovery. You won’t see a start to that until the soil temperature reaches a steady 5 degrees C and even then it’s usually a slow start. Remember this is soil temp and not air temp. I usually don’t recommend hollow tining in the spring in this part of the world. Spring is too late coming here and it’s usually well into the bowling season before growth is sufficient. It’s also heavily reliant on sufficient moisture afterwards, and there is a tendency towards dry weather in April which can cause this to backfire big style.
      Pencil tining, followed by wetting agent if you have dry patch and the green iron, sounds like a good plan to me. You could follow this up with scarification later (once growth is vigorous) without causing too much disruption.
      Let us know how it goes.


      • Inch by inch says:

        Hello John,
        Thanks for your quick reply,I shall do my best to follow your comments .I’ll have a selling job to do to the management and the contractor neither of which like being told what to do.

        Inch by Inch

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