Source: Technical igK Dpt. 20 February 2014

Construction Methods for turfgrass irrigation efficency

A short introduction to building suitable systems for turfgrass surfaces that require high quality and intensive maintenance.

Instalación de Cellsystem para césped (cortesía del Dr. Thomas Nikolai)
Instalación de Cellsystem para césped (cortesía del Dr. Thomas Nikolai)

Construction methods for optimizing water use (California, USGA and Rikie modified USGA), choosing sands and gravels with suitable particle grain sizeand shape, and being rigorous about the chosen texture, are essential for sustainably maintaining surface quality over the long term.

Drainage enables part of the water not used by the plant (both from irrigating and rain) to return to the interconnected lakes and to be recirculated by the irrigation system.

Studies are making way for the introduction of alternative building methods combining the construction type and the irrigation type, characterized by systems that apply water from the bottom up, and in which irrigating and draining is carried out through the same pipe system.

They have certain drawbacks: Currently they are more expensive and harder to install (and impossible in an already established turfgrass surface), and they also have limitations when being installed in surfaces with drop offs or undulations. In any event, the case is clear that they are able to increase irrigation efficiency, and that they have a future ahead of them. Examples of these methods include PAT (Prescription Athletic Turf-System), CellSystem and ECS (Evaporative Control System).

Other alternative irrigating methods include underground drip irrigating. This is a more efficient system, more adaptable to ornamental surfaces, given that they create obstacles during some maintenance practices, such as aerating, incorporating granular fertilizers or being installed in a golf green, due to the need to change the flag positions.

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