Dry Patch or Localised Dry Spot

waterrepellenturf.jpg (102968 bytes) Water-repellent turf/dry patch/localised dry spot!

This is a rootzone phenomenon in which the material of the rootzone becomes water repellent or hydrophobic.

The turf symptoms appear as if the turf was droughted, but they frequently appear in a 'mosaic' pattern across the affected sward.  Dry patch is most noticeable and causes most disturbance to play when it develops on the close-mown fine turfgrass areas of bowling greens and golf course putting greens.

Once an area is affected by dry patch, the problem can not be eradicated but the symptoms can be controlled by careful use of wetting agents.

The symptoms of dry patch show during the summer and autumn months and to achieve the most effective control of the symptoms, wetting agents should be applied at the start of the year before the problem becomes too severe.

The water repellence is known to be caused by the deposition of water repellent materials on the surface of the rootzone particles - with a sand rootzone, the symptoms are generally more severe because of the relatively lower surface area compared with that of a heavier rootzone.  It is thought that this material may be a by-product of fungal metabolism or decay and certainly the effects of water repellence can be seen in rootzones through which fairy ring fungi have passed.