From an agronomic standpoint, the benefits of a deep root mass are far reaching, especially with poor irrigation water quality. Effluent water is the culprit of a plethora of issues associated with intensely maintained turf. Excessive algae growth is common on greens, causing turf to thin and leaving voids for Poa annua to invade. Black Layer, is also a very common cause of turf decline on sand based surfaces that are irrigated with effluent water. It is caused by a colonization of sulphur reducing bacteria which release toxic gasses and create anaerobic (lack of oxygen) conditions in the soil. Shade exacerbates each of these issues.
We have estimated that our water usage on the Putting Green has reduced by 85% since being re-grassed to bentgrass, and, due to this substantial reduction, black layer and algae blooms have been eliminated as issues to this point. This has been made possible by the deep and dense root system of the bentgrass, and the growth of that root system was made possible by proper aeration and proper amounts of sunlight/air movement.
|8" root mass|
with sparse roots to 10"
|9.5" root mass|
seen when changing cups
There are a couple of varieties on the Putting Green which have separated themselves from the pack with respect to rooting, which will weigh heavily in our decision making process for the grass type(s) chosen for the greens renovation this fall. Seeing these thing on the ground and not only on sell sheets provided by seed manufactures is both exciting and impressive.