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Soil moisture and irrigation: 3 key points for summer

In my second presentation at the Ontario Golf Course Management Conference, I discussed three things about soil moisture and irrigation that may lead to improved turf conditions in summer.

More discussion below, but first the handout, and these slides.

The first thing I discussed was irrigation frequency. I explained that daily irrigation can be used to keep the soil drier, and with a higher air content, than deep and infrequent irrigation. This annotated chart explains how lower soil moisture can be the result when irrigation is supplied daily.

Then I talked about water quality, and I finished the presentation explaining how a soil moisture meter can be used to estimate the relative evapotranspiration at differing environments on a property.

I didn't include any discussion of wetting agents in the presentation, but I would have talked about this if there was more time. Data show there is no such thing as wetting agents that retain more water or move water through the soil. Understanding what wetting agents really do is important to make the best use of these products.

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