July 20, 2015 at 7:23 am

It’s what we are all asking and wondering, when will this rain stop? Years like this, with way above average rainfall, pose many different problems and concerns then what a so-called “normal year” would. Most of us in the green industry are dealing with oversaturated soils; the moisture simply has no where to go. Maintaining turf areas during these conditions brings on several different challenges: compaction, rising soil temperatures, and added disease pressure just to name a few.

Whether you are maintaining residential, commercial, or golf course turf areas, we are compacting soils more than normal because of high moisture levels. This leads to less poor space in the soil, which then limits drainage and air movement. The grass plant has to use more energy than normal and simply has to work harder day in and day out. Oversaturated soil also heats up more rapidly than dry soil. High soil temperatures, along with high soil moisture, can lead to several different turfgrass diseases. Pythium, brown patch, and anthracnose are common in these soil conditions.

There are a few things you can do to help with these issues. Limiting mowing frequencies when possible will help limit compaction. Most turfgrass diseases this time of year are more active in highly fertilized areas. Splitting up nutrient applications can limit some of the disease pressure. Organic-based fertilizers are a great option in these conditions.

So, when will this rain stop? Unfortunately, I do not have the answer. But, there will be a day not too far in the future when we say to ourselves, “I hope it rains soon.”

Rain, rain, go away and come back again another day!

Harry Helsel
ATS Sales Representative