Salt and Fresh Water From the Same Well?? February 27, 2015

Salt and Fresh Water From the Same Well??

By Bud White, Director
September 17, 2008

We are coming out of a dry summer over most of the region, but rain relief has finally helped many locations over the last two to three weeks. It has been most interesting to note, however, that salts still remain in the upper one inch of mat layer on many greens, even after a flushing rain. How could that be?

The organic composition of the mat layer can hold nutrients, salts, etc. very tenaciously. If aeration is not carried out to break the surface tension and gypsum applied to break up the salt radical, flushing is inefficient at best.

If salt levels are still present in the organic matter zone, then at least solid tine aerate to punch through the layer. The preferred method is to pull a ¼" core on close centers. Apply a greens grade gypsum and flush.


Salts at 690 ppm in a sand green profile where the organic mat has built up through a lack of
aggressive aeration.
After flushing is the time to put down a granular potassium application to replenish the root zone. Salt management cannot be assumed with just a good rain. The flushing must have help to occur.

We urge you to visit the USGA web site at and click on Supporting the Game to learn more about Green Section programs and to stay up-to-date on activities in the Mid-Continent area via our Mid-continent Regional Update, bringing you new information every two weeks.


If you would like more information about a Turf Advisory Service visit, please contact either of the Mid-Continent regional offices: Bud White, (972) 662-1138 or ( ) and Ty McClellan, or (630) 340-5853.