The solution to an irrigation water salinity problem is more of that same water

This photo illustrates two things about salinity problems. First, the salinity stress is most evident in the low areas, because the salts drain with the water. Second—and this one can be counterintuitive at first—the solution to an irrigation water salinity problem is to add even more1 of that “bad” water as irrigation.

MLSN and salinity

When this question arrived, I thought I could respond by showing a blog post I’d written in the past with the answer. “What kind of adjustments would you recommend to do when trying to use the MLSN on a Calcareous sand green profile and irrigation with water saline water with 1500 ppm and Pure Dynasty Sea Shore Paspalum and pH 8?

It doesn't have to be so complicated

Irrigation water quality, salinity, gypsum, and sodium—I’m not even going to mention the problems that bicarbonate doesn’t cause—are topics that are sure to stir up some discussion. I shared a couple old blog posts last week, related to sodium, sodicity, and gypsum, and sure enough, there were all kinds of responses, with much of it taking a tangent from what the blog posts were about.

No matter how much sodium one puts into a sand rootzone, the soil structure cannot be affected, so gypsum won’t be required

I received this question about leaching salts from the rootzone: “I remember talking to you once before regarding flushing excess salts from the root zone and the application of gypsum or other calcium products before the flush and you telling me it was not necessary.

Is sodium an imaginary problem?

On sand putting greens, it is. The problem caused by sodium is a reduction in the downward movement of water in soils. This is caused by the deflocculation of clay in the soil.

Sand, sodium, and soil structure

Sand rootzones are common the world over for golf course putting greens. Many athletic fields are also built with a sand rootzone, and in Asia, many of the tees, fairways, and even roughs are grown in a sand rootzone.