Over the years, golf course managers (superintendents) across the globe have utilized several methods and materials to cushion greens from winter injury.
New materials find their way to the market each year. Winter protection cost varies widely, but regardless of whether these superintendents use the ancient “tried and true method” or the modern greens cover technology, almost all of them invest a sizable amount of cash in protecting their gardens.
It’s critical to understand that no single green protection method is superior to the other as every green is unique. A turf cover technique that works for another might not work for you. Therefore, superintendents should evaluate their situations critically and decide the best course of action.
To develop a successful winter protection program, superintendents must first know the type of injury they are trying to tackle. Therefore, a comprehensive understanding of the different types of winter injuries is crucial.
This article will tell you all that you need to know about the permeable green cover to help you determine if it can be an excellent fit for your golf course.
What is A Permeable Green Cover?
A permeable green cover is a green turf cover that allows air and water to pass through. There are two types:
- Permeable non-insulating turf covers.
- Permeable insulating turf covers.
Permeable non- insulating turf covers.
Most superintendents use these covers to speed up spring green-up. They also use them to assist in the recovery process when and if winter damage happens. Besides, they use them to manage greens that are somewhat young or have been newly re-grassed.
Superintendents use these types of turfgrass covers to prevent desiccation injury majorly.
However, non-insulating covers are not effective in protecting crown hydration injury. They are appropriate in warming up the ground in spring, therefore hastening the recovery process.
This type of cover enables water and air to pass through. Its permeability factor doesn’t cause anoxia injury.
But because it does not insulate, it doesn’t stop ice layer formation. Thereby, you can’t trust it to prevent anoxia (lack of oxygen in the surrounding area) brought about by ice encasement of the turf.
These types of covers usually come with a warranty ranging from 3-10 years, depending on the place of purchase.
All the covers are specially woven using polypropylene, and their physical properties are similar.
For instance, a seven-year warranty turf cover’s average cost is $ 0.30 per square foot. This type of cover’s initial cost is one of the highest, but it makes up for it in terms of longevity.
You can use it for ten long years without any frustrations.
Installation time and labor vary considerably based on the golf size and the weather. However, in comparison to other covers, it consumes less time and works during installation.
Advantages of permeable non-insulating turf covers
- Installation of these covers does not require a lot of labor and time; usually, it all depends on the size of your golf course.
- Its durability is unmatched, with a useful life of more than seven years.
Permeable Insulating turf covers
A great example of a permeable insulating turf cover is the Excelsior blankets.
These types of covers are also suitable for preventing desiccation injury. As the covers allow air and water to pass through, anoxia injury is not a problem unless the whole course gets encased in ice.
But even in such a scenario, the fibrous nature of these covers creates adequate porosity to enable gases to move through an ice layer freely.
Does the permeable insulating cover protect turf against crown hydration injury? Yes, they are effective at minimizing crown hydration injury. Also, they slow down freezing and thawing, hence reducing crown hydration to some extent.
The initial cost of permeable insulating turf cover (Excelsior cover) is low, but because it’s not durable, its eventual pricing is similar to that of the other covers.
Installation and uninstallation of these covers require a significant amount of labor that you should include in the budget.
Permeable insulating turf covers tend to absorb water during the protection period, and they also expand over time. Thus it would be best if you catered for storage equipment.
Advantages of permeable insulating turf covers.
- These covers continue to prove massive success in protecting turf covers from all types of winter injury: anoxia, desiccation, and crown hydration.
- You can trust permeable insulating turf covers to do the job for you even when the temperatures tip-off to the extremes.
Permeable Golf Green Covers Details
A great golf green cover is tailored using 100% polypropylene. Polypropylene offers flexibility and durability at the same time because it is semi-crystalline.
Another significant advantage of polypropylene that makes it suitable for making turf covers is its water-resistant nature and its ability to withstand damage from various acidic and basic components.
Different types of green turf covers come in two structures. There are single-piece structures and those that come as multiple pieces.
Superintendents prefer single-piece structures because they are easy to install, uninstall and they stay in place better.
Golf courses come in various shapes and sizes; therefore, most golf green covers are tailored to fit a golf course appropriately. Keep in mind that purchasing a customized golf green cover will cost you additional charges.
Standard sizes turf covers are also available for those who don’t require customized turf covers.
Installation and Accessories
Installing a one-piece turf cover does not take up a lot of time nor labor. However, the bigger the golf course, the more the labor and time required to install a turf cover.
Accessories for installation of a turf cover differ with each cover. But ensure that among the accessories you get to aid in the cover installation are:
- A storage bag – You’ll use it to store your turf cover safely until the next time you’ll need it.
- Staples/ Pegs – You’ll use them to secure your turf cover in place, to prevent the strong winds from tampering with your turf cover.
Where to Buy a Turf Cover
Unless you’d like to purchase a customized turf cover, which takes time to customize, you can buy standard size turf covers here.
Finding a good choice of cover for your greens when the cold season is approaching can be challenging,
Make sure to consider the grass type of your course and the winter injury you are looking to prevent or alleviate before purchasing a green golf cover.
However, most superintendents prefer permeable turf covers because of their versatility and because they yield better results (without demanding a lot) compared to impermeable turf cover.