In the Spring 2010 edition of “By Design,” Joe Betulis, vice president of marketing for Profile Products, shares information regarding how water conservation on golf courses begins at the grass roots.

Betulis poses that conserving water on golf courses goes beyond operating a finely tuned irrigation system, as soil itself is the most important ingredient in having an efficient and well-maintained course. At the rootzone, a good soil mix should be designed and maintained to resist compaction, increase drainage, and balance water and air pore space. Rootzones can be amended when necessary to create a balanced soil that is approximately 50 percent solids and 50 percent pore space, with the pore space evenly divided at 25 percent air and 25 percent water pores.

Testing soils is critical when making an ideal rootzone soil blend. Mixing sand and amendments-such as peat-allows for the creation of a high-performance mix that maximizes air values and holds water without negatively influencing infiltration rates.

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