In this article we explain a management strategy for dew dispersal in turf.
- It is common practice in the maintenance of golf greens and other fine turf areas to remove the dew from the surface of the turf.
- Dew dispersal can help reduce disease pressure when used in an integrated program.
- For many years this has usually been done mechanically e.g., by brushing, or by “switching,” which is the movement of a fiberglass pole across the surface to knock dew off the leaves.
- Dew dispersal can also improve green speed and performance of greens.
- As mechanical methods of dew dispersal are time consuming, alternatives based on chemical surfactants have been developed.
- These dew-dispersal products adhere onto the treated grass leaf and form a film of wetting agent across the surface. When dew tries to settle on the leaf, the wetting agent film stops it from sticking to the surface and the dew is rapidly shed.
- There are a number of factors that affect the performance of dew-dispersal materials – for best results the turf surface needs to be dry at the time of application, and mowing (which removes the treated leaf) needs to be infrequent.
- Heavy rainfall also tends to wash dew dispersants off the leaf surface.
- In ideal conditions, dew dispersals can give 3-4 weeks effectiveness from a single application.
- However, in adverse conditions (wet grass when applied, heavy rainfall, frequent mowing) dew may be dispersed for a reduced period, typically 3-5 days.