We asked Chip Houmes, District Manager with Precision Laboratories, a few questions about localized dry spot. Learn what the symptoms of localized dry spot are, when it typically occurs, the tools we can use to combat the issue, and more in this Q&A.

What is localized dry spot and what causes it?

Localized dry spot (LDS) can be caused by several factors. Soil compaction, high bicarbonate level, thatch, heavy organic matter, and layering can all contribute. True LDS on golf courses are more severe and are areas where organic acids have attached to the soil particles. These coated soil particles will resist water penetration and reduce the water’s ability to attach to the soil in the profile.


When does LDS usually occur?

LDS is always there to some degree. We usually don’t see the stress on the turf until the summer months with higher temperatures. This is a result of the turf needing more water for cooling itself with evapotranspiration.

Is LDS ever confused with diseases?

Yes, some turf patch diseases can look like LDS. Sometimes nematode damage can also add confusion. A soil probe and a soil moisture meter can help determine if it’s LDS. You can’t just look at the turf surface, you need to see what’s going on in the soil profile.

What tools can we use to combat LDS?

To combat LDS and improve soil moisture content and uniformity most people use soil surfactants.

There are two primary modes of action for soil surfactants: infiltration chemistries and hydration chemistries.

Infiltration products, such as Alypso Plus, push water into the soil. These types of products can be very helpful in both wet or dry conditions. Moving water into the soil deeper is critical in helping to alleviate LDS.

However, infiltration products alone will not help correct the water-holding ability of the soil. A hydration product is needed to bring back volumetric water content and keep it available to the turf. Products such as Vivax and Triplo contain both infiltration and hydration chemistries. Vivax has more hydration with some infiltration. Triplo has more infiltration with some hydration.

Ask your ATS rep to help prescribe the best product choice or combination to meet your needs.

Chip Houmes
District Manager
Precision Laboratories LLC