Passive Control of Downslope Capillary Wicking of Water in Sand-based Root Zones Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Chronic dry spots that occur on the upper reaches of slopes on golf putting greens lead to increased frequency of irrigation to maintain a healthy turfgrass surface. To limit one cause of dry spots, the downslope wicking of water, we investigated the use of subsurface barriers to interrupt the capillary connectivity of the bottom portion of the root zone on a 3.5-m long, laboratory-simulated section of a green having a 5% slope. We evaluated the effectiveness of the barriers on a green constructed with a sand root zone over gravel drainage and on a green constructed with a sand root zone over a geotextile atop a porous plastic grid for drainage. With sand over gravel, the barriers were effective at reducing downslope wicking and the consequential loss of stored water in the root zone on the slope. In the top 0.5 m of the slope, there was 24 mm more water stored in the root zone profile of the green constructed with barriers compared with that in the green constructed without barriers. With sand over geotextile atop a plastic grid, the barriers were effective at reducing wicking of water, but only when the downslope continuity of the geotextile was broken. In that case, there was 35 mm more water stored in the root zone profile at the top of the slope in the green constructed with barriers and a discontinuous geotextile compared with the greens constructed with barriers and continuous geotextile or with sand over gravel and no barriers.

published proceedings

  • HortScience

author list (cited authors)

  • McInnes, K. J., & Thomas, J. C.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • McInnes, Kevin J||Thomas, James C

publication date

  • February 2012