Localised Dry Patch typically rears its ugly head in June in the UK, but by then it is way too late to do anything about it. Once your green is displaying the large brown patches of desiccated grass and powder dry soil beneath, no amount of watering or wetting agent will bring it back fully this year. Now is the time to inspect your green and deal with it permanently.
The condition known as localised dry patch (LDP) which is so prevalent on bowling greens throughout the UK is a very frustrating problem for many bowling clubs.
The frustration comes mainly from the fact that LDP isn’t a disease so it can’t be eradicated by a simple application of fungicide or any other chemical.
LDP is instead a disorder of turf that causes the soil beneath some areas of the green to become hydrophobic or repellent to water.
LDP causes large areas of the green surface to turn brown and sometimes even recede below the main surface level, causing bumpy, uneven surfaces and an increasingly poor bowling experience as the season progresses.
Like almost everything else that goes wrong with bowling greens LDP is merely a symptom of other issues present on the green; in this case excessive sand content in the green’s rootzone profile (topsoil).
The excess of sand makes the rootzone inert and unable to retain moisture or nutrients. More importantly, the soil can’t sustain a big enough population of beneficial soil micro-organisms, which would assist with the decomposition of thatch and produce essential plant useable nutrients.
The recovery process can take several years, although there will be notable improvements to the green surface throughout the recovery process.
To overcome this problem, it is important to adopt a completely new approach to green maintenance along the lines of the performance greens program and the single most important part of this process is to stop throwing tonnes of sand at the green every year.
More information here: LDP
During dry and hot weather the need to water your green properly can’t be over emphasised. Although it can be tempting to let the green burn to achieve speed, this can turn to disaster and cause the green to fail later in the season.
So what is the right way to water your green?
Whatever method of watering you are using, whether it be an automatic pop up system, hose and sprinkler or simply hand watering with a hose, the rule you should follow is Read more