June 17, 2013 at 3:00 am

The long, hot days of summer are upon us! In this week’s blog post, I wanted to touch base on a key management strategy that should help you sleep better at night. 

Moisture management is one of the most important keys to having a successful summer when it comes to maintaining creeping bentgrass putting greens. I have found that many superintendents have started using tools like moisture meters to help them through the summer stress.  Moisture meters, like the one below, can be purchased from a number of different retailers.

Too much moisture during long stretches of heat can encourage a number of different conditions such as leaf and/or root diseases, algae, increased weed pressure, and possibly even scalping from mowers. Not enough moisture will increase the canopy temperature, cause localized dry spots, and cause extreme hydrophobic soil conditions. 

The regular use of a moisture meter will help reduce these added headaches during an already stressful time. The subjective “probe and feel” method is a technique that has caused added hours to your day and unnecessary watering. These handy moisture meters will aid you in the selection process and rates of your wetting agents. The decrease in your hand watering labor budget will allow you and your employees to be more productive in other areas of your golf course as well.

I suggest you take advantage of this extremely useful tool in order to take your putting greens to the next level. I wish you all the best this summer!

Kevin Wolfe