H2Pro DewSmart is recommended as part of an integrated disease management programme, H2Pro DewSmart can potentially help combat the spread of fungal diseases in turfgrass and as a consequence, improve the surface quality.
At certain times of the year, one of the first early morning tasks on the professional turf manager’s routine is likely to be dew removal.
In late summer and early autumn, there will still be strong grass growth and both air and soil temperatures are warmed by the sun during the day. But at night, when temperatures begin to drop, the water vapour in the air condenses, forming small droplets of water (dew) on the surface of the grass blade.
When the weather is windy, dew is blown off naturally as the air warms up more quickly than the surface of the grass. But on still days, dew needs to be removed mechanically by drag brushing or with a hand tool such a cane or switch. If there’s been a night time frost, dew droplets are usually left to melt by the sun before the dew is brushed off. Once the dew has been removed, the surface of the grass dries quickly and can then be mown or scarified.
Why is dew a problem?
The moist dew forms a coating on the grass blade and when combined with Guttation water creates the ideal breeding ground for fungal spores to spread. Guttation occurs because the moisture in leaves does not evaporate at night. The stomata are closed but the plant still takes up water from the soil through its roots causing vascular pressure and exudation of plant sap (Guttation) from the edges of the leaves. Analysis has shown that Guttation water contains a range of sugars, amino acids, and depending on the species, also potassium salts, which can all feed fungal hyphae.
Foliar diseases such as Michrodochium patch disease (Microdochium nivali) and Dollar Spot (Sclerotinia homoeocarpa) will thrive on a moist turf surface. Early morning switching to remove dew from the surface of golf greens can be very significant in reducing the spread of fungal diseases.
H2Pro DewSmart as part of an integrated disease management programme
As well as removing dew by mechanical brushing or switching, both of which are labour intensive, using a surfactant, or dew dispersal product is a reliable and cost effective alternative.
H2Pro DewSmart from ICL is a new, specially formulated dew dispersal product that prevents dew forming. By forming a film of wetting agent on the grass surface, it stops the dew sticking to the leaves.
When used as part of an integrated disease management programme, it can also effectively reduce the spread of foliar diseases.
Dr Andy Owen, International Technical Manager, Turf & Amenity, comments, “There is clear evidence to demonstrate that if we can keep the grass leaf drier during key periods of disease risk, then we can significantly reduce the incidence of some diseases.”
And for the keenest of golfers, a dry, dew free surface in the morning means an early start on the golf course!