Saturday, July 20, 2013

Update 7/20/13

Well we made it through the latest heat wave I don't think I can remember being as hot and humid as it was Wednesday this week.  We spent a lot of time this week hand watering in place of  overnight watering and we got very lucky by getting missed by any big rain events this week.  We also needle tined some approach areas to help us water more efficiently.  The only major disease issue that we had was some dollar spot and very small amount of pythium in a few wet areas.  Now, with the low humidity days ahead hand watering will be the norm.  Overall, I am very pleased with the golf course we are in fine shape.

The poa Trivials in the fairways that I have spoke about many times is very stressed this year.  I am starting to see some areas of dormancy right now in the fairways.  The cooler drier weather will help somewhat but its the nature of the plant to go through a dormancy period in warm and humid times of the year.  For whatever reason last year we managed to keep the poa trivials in good shape with very little dormant areas but with the extreme humid days I feel it has weakened the turf.  There is little that I can do to stop this from happening but I am trying to balance our watering to do everything we can to keep it going until the cooler days and nights bring it back to life.  The main problem is there is no real answer to get rid of it other then roundup. we have to live with it and know that it will come back if the turf does go dormant.

You may have noticed the edges of the fairway in the rough is very thick right now and sometimes hard to hit out of.  Last fall, we started to move some fairway lines back to the original design or because these areas do not want to be fairway because of lack of water, traffic and compaction the bentgrass gets very stressed during the summer and for the most part dies back.  This spring we seeded most of the edges to tall fescue, which can handle drought stress and traffic much better then the bentgrass.  We are not spraying these edges to continue to weaken the bentgrass by either disease or stress and encourage the tall fescue to take over.  You will start to notice some browned out areas, the bentgrass is weakening just like these areas normally do and with the voids or weakened areas the tall fescue grass is starting to take over.  This fall we will again overseed as well as next spring. Overtime the tall fescue will take over and will be able to handle the stress much better

Monday we will be topdressing the greens and approaches to help dilute some organic matter.  We will also groom the fairways this week.  The warm humid weather has really lead to some "puffy" turf stands which is causing some scalping issues., mainly the fairways and tees.  We will be core  the tees in late august and continue to verticut and groom fairways to help remove some of the excess "puffiness".  Last year, we really didn't have any issues because of the dry and much less humid weather.

I am sure that you may have noticed the waterfall was not working this week.  The motor and pumps are located in a small vault which in extreme hot weather gets very hot inside the vault.  I am paying very close attention to this now and will be turning off the motors when the temperature is above 88.  The waterfall is back on today and is working fine.

We are also working towards getting the course ready for the club championship in 2 weeks.  I plan on having most of the bunker edged and continue to work on some detail projects.  Hopefully you will be able to get in a few rounds to prepare for this event.

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