I’ve taken a few phone calls this week all asking a similar question: it’s as dry any point continuing my fairway wetting agent program?
Well there is never a simple answer but here goes:
If you have fairway irrigation or water available to irrigate your fairways then you’ll get a huge benefit from continuing to use Qualibra in this weather. However if you have no water or infrastructure available to irrigate fairways then back off the wetting agent now as it’s a high risk strategy with very little benefit
With the period of no rain now entering it’s 8th week for some courses It’s really worth thinking about a recovery plan for when the weather pattern changes. It’s still early in the year so we have plenty of good temperatures left this season to ensure we take great coverage into the winter.
Getting the soil as evenly wet as soon as we can has to be the number one priority and nothing will help you make the most of natural rainfall than Qualibra. Id suggest getting the very best wetting agent you can on the shelf ready to go as soon as the weather breaks. Utilise the potential savings in diesel and invest them in wetting agent and seed.
At syngenta we do extensive trial work looking at how to generate the fastest possible germination – this is mainly for football stadia work but some of this may prove to be incredibly useful for those of you trying to re-establish some weak areas after this drought.
The chart above shows how germination / visual merit of newly seeded fescue improved significantly when using qualibra but the really positive surprise that our trial work showed up was even at half rates timing the application at the same time as seeding had really beneficial results in adding germination and establishment.
There is no one size fits all solution to this as all courses will have different budgets, expectations, climates, grass species and soils but for all of those who like to plan and want to go into the back end of the season with great coverage I’d start thinking about:
Establishing the scale of the challenge ahead of you
Getting some wetting agent on the shelf
Working out and ordering how much seed you may need to re-establish thin areas
Thinking about using qualibra as part of your overseeding program.