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  • Author or Editor: Virgil L. Quisenberry x
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Philip J. Brown, Lambert B. McCarty, Virgil L. Quisenberry, L. Ray Hubbard Jr. and M. Brad Addy

Drainage is important to golf and athletic facilities trying to avoid lost play time. Native soil containing clay is sometimes incorporated into sand profiles with the intent to increase water and nutrient holding capacities. However, mixes high in silt and/or clay often have drainage problems. Research was conducted on soil physical properties from incremental 10% v/v additions of silt and clay (fines) to a U.S. Golf Association (USGA)-specification sand. Soils were evaluated based on volumetric water retention from 0 to 50 cm matric potential, saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat), porosity, and bulk density. The soil water characteristic (SWC) for 100:0 (sand:fines) had lower volumetric water content (θv) throughout the profile than any other mixture. Addition of 10% fines increased θv to more than 0.17 cm3·cm–3 throughout the 0- to 50-cm matric potential range, whereas 20% fines increased θv to more than 0.26 cm3·cm–3. The 70:30 mixture had greater θv throughout the profile than mixtures containing more than 70% sand. Mixtures with less than 70% sand produced similar SWCs. Increasing sand content increased bulk density, which altered saturated volumetric water content. Ksat was reduced from more than 265 cm·h–1 in 100:0 mixtures to 43 cm·h–1 for 90:10 mixtures, and to less than 5 cm·h–1 with ≥20% fines. The addition of ≥20% by volume of fines to a USGA sand increased water content in the soil to the point it was rendered unacceptable for trafficked turf sites. This research illustrates the influence fine particles, even in small amounts, can have on a USGA sand, and why they should not be added without prior evaluation.