Danger for your FLL or USGA type greens?
Many greens are getting up in age, which mean the growing medium known as “the rootzone” is getting old too. A serious problem, yet little known, is the loss of capillary action. Capillary action is a pulling behavior of liquids through narrows spaces which can defy gravity (think of a paper towel sucking up water). This action is vital to drainage and a healthy rootzone.
FLL or USGA recommended rootzones with high percentages of fine sand particles are particularly affected by the layering of fines over time. This unwanted process is simple, happens over time, is invisible and unstoppable.
Due to water and gravity, the “fines” migrate downwards, eventually settling into a moisture halting or trapping layer which hinders capillary action and drainage. Because it is invisible, it is difficult to recognize and has been greatly underestimated.
These migrating fine particles are a problem that can and have led to serious challenges on greens worldwide. The good news is, once identified, the problem is correctable.