Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Agriculture - Environmental Horticultural Science


Horticulture and Crop Science


Terry Vassey


Managing soil hydrophobicity caused by localized dry spots (LDS) on sand based golf greens has become one of the greatest challenges for golf course superintendents and managers, especially as water restrictions intensify. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of thirteen soil surfactants in eliminating LDS and in maximizing root zone soil moisture on a sand based USGA golf green located on the California Central Coast. Potential water repellency of air dried cores (measured utilizing the water droplet penetration time (WDPT) method), phytotoxicity, and climate were analyzed during two experimental trials. Phytotoxicity data was collected for Trial I using visual quality ratings and for Trial II using a chlorophyll meter. Phytotoxicity decreased during Trial I. Differences in phytotoxicity as measured using chlorophyll index were not at all significant during Trial II (p = 1). Ten of the thirteen wetting agent treatments significantly (p < 0.001) decreased soil hydrophobicity compared with the other wetting agent treated plots and the non-treated control. More frequent application of Cascade Plus resulted in a more significant reduction in soil hydrophobicity. Increasing the application rates also resulted in the reduction of soil hydrophobicity. Wetting agent treatment 6-CP(10day) maintained the highest volumetric water content (VWC) but treatment 13-2079337 maintained the highest levels for wetting agents treated monthly.

Thesis Appendix.pdf (948 kB)
Appendix to Thesis