The adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” applies to golf course Superintendents and Turf Managers because it is important to know what is occurring beneath the turf’s surface to determine if turf has a fever. Looking at green grass can be misleading. The turf’s canopy temperature can be at least 15 degrees higher than the air temperature. In other words, the canopy temperature for turf can be 95 degrees on a bright 80-degree day without clouds or wind. When root zones are subject to high temperatures, the turf you see on the surface could be, or likely is in distress.
Staying aware of canopy temperatures and root zone temperatures can help ensure healthy turf, especially when using data-driven equipment like infrared temperature sensors.
Measuring the root zone temperature at one, two or three inches deep — as well as the canopy temperature — reveals if roots are in danger. Roots can be “cooked” by high temperatures and roots could be damaged or die. When roots are damaged or dead, effects become noticeable on the turf’s surface, but by then it may be too late. To prioritize the importance of root zone maintenance, it is important to cool down the root zones when they are in stress by doing things like hand-watering greens.
Infrared temperature sensors for the FieldScout® TDR 150 and TDR350 give valuable data to figure out if turf has a fever. The infrared temperature sensor offers users the ability to:
Find and correct moisture deficits
Predict turf wilt with high accuracy
Accurately monitor canopy temperatures
There are many variables to account for when maintaining healthy turf — including geographical location, weather temperature and patterns, time of year and turf species. Having accurate, data-driven equipment goes a long way in preserving turf. It starts with knowing the importance of data measurement and committing to a turf measurement program.
If you think you have a fever, you take your temperature with a thermometer. The same applies to turf health. Taking measurements can determine if turf has a fever and provide answers to make informed decisions for watering. By using data-driven equipment, superintendents can have an ongoing and comprehensive understanding of the turf’s health.
It is easy to look at green turf and assume that it is healthy. However, that is not always the case during hot weather seasons that causes turf stress in root zones. Data-driven measurement equipment delivers useful information in determining whether your turf has a fever and how to choose treatment options.
Source: Spectrum official website
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