Resources for Turf

Intro text

Soil moisture content and soil temperature are two of the most important conditions to ensure optimum plant growth and quality. Every Turf Manager has their own objectives regarding turf quality and Aquaflex is an invaluable tool and provides the information to assist in achieving these objectives. Aquaflex is a robust and flexible moisture sensor that is 3m in length that can be laid in to soil in a variety of configurations to suit the application. There are many benefits provided by Aquaflex, some examples are below:

  • Reduced water consumption
  • Reduced energy consumption
  • Control and improve dry matter production
  • Increased fertiliser effectiveness
  • Improve effectiveness of pesticide application
  • Save time and labour
  • Fine tune irrgation management
  • Reduce water management risk
  • Demonestrate quantified enviromental management

Reduced water consumption

Independent trials conducted using AQUAFLEX in several different applications demonstrated savings of up to 50% in water use after AQUAFLEX sensors were installed. This is consistent with the approach many irrigators naturally take to soil moisture management, “It is generally safer to over water than under water!” However, with the information provided by AQUAFLEX, Turf Managers can optimise their irrigation and reap the benefits, including:

  • Elimination of saturated turf conditions due to over watering
  • Water conservation
  • Reduced water charges (very topical given the drought conditions prevalent in many areas in recent years)

Reduced Energy Consumption

Irrigation systems generally require energy for operation. In addition, excessive dry matter production such as on a golf course requires increased mowing, a significant energy user. AQUAFLEX’s accurate and continuous measurement of soil moisture and soil temperature enables Turf Managers to fine tune their irrigation to achieve their quality objectives while minimising energy use. Benefits of this include significantly lower operating costs and improved profitability of the operation

Controlled Dry Matter Production while Maintaining Quality

Turf Managers often wish to minimise or maximise plant dry matter production while maintaining plant quality. For example, a Golf Course Superintendent wants nice looking green fairways, which heal themselves reasonably quickly when divots are taken out. However superintendents do not always want a high level of dry matter production because that leads to extra mowing and high water consumption. Aquaflex’s accurate and continuous measurement of soil moisture and soil temperature enables Turf Managers to fine tune their irrigation to maintain turf quality while minimising mowing operations and water use. This will ensure:

  • Improved performance
  • Faster recovery of turf
  • Management of mowing frequency allowing optimised usage of the facility and reduced operating costs (labour, fuel, mower maintenance etc)

Increased Fertiliser Effectiveness

As many irrigation systems apply substantially more water than is required, they contribute to the loss of fertilisers and agro-chemicals through leaching as a result of excessively high soil moisture content. The savings in fertiliser usage that can be achieved by more precise control of soil moisture content can be substantial. The soil temperature information provided by AQUAFLEX is also invaluable in ensuring the soil conditions are at the level to ensure optimum fertiliser uptake by the turf before applying the fertiliser. This will ensure:

  • Reduced fertiliser usage
  • Application of fertiliser at the time when the soil conditions will ensure optimum fertiliser uptake
  • Elimination of leaching of fertiliser
  • Elimination of possible groundwater contamination by leaching of fertilisers

Improved Pesticide Application Effectiveness

Pesticides are most effective when they are applied under conditions which are optimal for each pesticide (environmental, soil moisture, plant growth stage etc). In addition, conditions which may be conducive to the development of diseases can be identified, so enabling preventative pesticide applications to be made. Aquaflex data can assist with the timing of pesticide applications. This will ensure reduced pesticide usage and application of pesticides at the correct time to ensure optimum benefit

Time and Labour Savings

Aquaflex soil moisture and temperature measurement systems provide a continual stream of information on the condition of the soil, so that Turf Managers can make decisions at any time based on this information. The timeliness of this information can save both time and labour as the Turf Manager does not need to undertake time consuming manual investigations of soil moisture content before taking action on irrigation management.

Enables Fine Tuning of Irrigation Management

Aquaflex provides continual information enabling Turf Managers to compare soil moisture contents from hour to hour, day to day, week to week or from season to season. Turf Managers can experiment with irrigation management practices and monitor the results of their experiments. This enables the Turf Manager to constantly fine tune the irrigation systems to achieve optimum performance

Reduced Water Management Risk

The management of any turf is an exercise in risk management. Risks include weather conditions, disease prevalence and the quality and availability of good contractors and staff. Aquaflex sensors help manage the risk associated with the weather and with irrigation systems by providing timely and accurate information. This gives Turf Managers greater confidence in their management decisions.

Demonstrates Quality Environmental Management

Customers, regulatory authorities and the public are increasingly demanding that products and services, including sports turf, are provided in an environmentally friendly manner. In some instances, rights to irrigation water may be dependent on being able to demonstrate environmentally sound water management principles.

Aquaflex soil moisture and temperature sensors can provide assurances to address both environmental and quality management demands by demonstrating the use of sound environmental and quality management practices.


Golf Greens

Better determine the ideal moisture to maintain firm, fast, and viable greens. By making better irrigation decisions you can cut back your water schedule to implementing good environmental stewardship while improving the profitability and sustainability of your operations. Research organizations in the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand have all used Aquaflex to assist them in compiling Irrigation Best practices for the industry.

“Aquaflex is a terrific tool to better determine the ideal moisture to maintain firm, fast, and viable greens.” Mark Hoban, Certified Superintendent at the Standard Club, Atlanta, USA

The Golf Course Industry is moving into a new era in terms of the impact of Environmental Awareness in the way Golf Courses operate. As a result of implementing good environmental stewardship Golf Courses can improve the profitability and sustainability of their operations. The Aquaflex Soil Moisture Sensor provides soil moisture and temperature information in a concise and easy to understand manner allowing intelligent Irrigation management decisions to be made. The savings in water can be substantial – in addition pumping costs are reduced and less fertilizers and nutrients are leached due to over irrigation.

“By using Aquaflex I have been able to cut back my watering schedule to the greens by 40%” - Darrin Spierings, Golf Course Superintendent, NorthStone CC, NC, USA

Without soil moisture monitoring it is very difficult to determine the current soil water status and the actions that must be taken to optimize irrigation management. Aquaflex has been deployed extensively in turf applications – from Research to Stadiums to Golf Courses. It’s 3m length and the spatial averaging this provides means it is ideally suited to turf applications where both soil moisture and irrigation application are usually extremely variable. Research organizations in the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand have all used Aquaflex to assist them in compiling Irrigation Best practices for the industry. 

“Since installing the Aquaflex soil moisture sensor, we have been able to quantify with greater precision the effect of varying depths of rootzone sand on moisture retention” - Dr Richard Gibbs: Scientific Services Manager, NZ Sports Turf Institute