Keep surfaces firm in rainstorm threat

1024 x 576 - Thunderstorm

Violent thunderstorms and torrential downpours have been causing huge disruption across large parts of the UK. Speaking to course manager friends, one can be sitting under a dark cloud whilst the rain teems down, then five miles up the road another is baking in the heat and not a drop of rain.

It’s just so localised that it makes planning really difficult, including irrigation scheduling and wetting agent programmes.

One of the questions I frequently get at the moment is: “if I’ve applied Qualibra that is designed to hold moisture in the root zone, will that stop surface water moving down if we get a downpour?

We actually had STRI look at that very question. The trials they undertook clearly showed that whilst Qualibra did beneficially hold moisture in the root zone in dry periods, if the soil was at field capacity and there was more rain, it had no effect on hampering infiltration and the surfaces remained just as firm as the untreated.

STRI trials result - no effect on surface hardness in wet

That’s really positive during conditions such as we are experiencing – which appear to be coming all too common. If you have a prolonged dry spell, then you get the benefit of holding onto available moisture and making better use of irrigation resources, but if you suddenly get a deluge of rain, you can be confident that surfaces are going to dry out equally quickly.

STRI trials result - positive retention of soil moisture in dry conditions

But it would just be so much easier if the weather just sorted itself out and settled down. Fortunately, the GreenCast weather outlook after this weekend is certainly looking better.


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