Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Weather Relief & Turf Recovery Progresses

How do we spell relief? (No it's not ROLAIDS, like the old commercial...though we needed plenty of them this summer!) it's spelled, COOL. And to be more specific it's cool nights and cool soil temperatures, along with mild daytime temperatures and lower humidity. All of these weather factors, for the past two weeks, have finally become conducive to turf growth and recovery, and seed germination and establishment. What a difference a couple weeks make. It gives us a whole new outlook!

Over the last several weeks, in addition to bringing the rough back to a manageable length, we've performed several and repeated recovery efforts for thinned areas throughout the course including: small tine aeration; spiking; hand tamp dimpling; seeding; topdressing; applying germination enhancing nutrients, bio-stimulants (root promoting hormones), and wetting agents (to help retain moisture near the seed), and syringed daily. These efforts along with favorable weather have produced very good results and I'm sure we'll see coverage improvement with each passing day.

 Thinned area on #13 green, late August

Same location showing excellent germination of seed in hand tamp dimpled areas.
Photo taken today 9/15
Most damaged area on #13 green, late August

Same area showing germination throughout. Establishment and spreading of this bentgrass should proceed well over next few weeks.

To aide establishment and complete recovery a cover is being installed each night to retain warmth when very cool overnight temperatures are forecast.
 With outings, and most events behind us we will begin typical fall aeration activities very soon. Tees will be addressed first followed by fairways and then greens. The tee work has little impact on play but fairway and green aeration certainly do. At this time our scheduling will like be the last week in September for fairways and the second week in October for greens. Once again we will be using a fairly small tine size on the greens (approx. 3/8" diameter) but spaced closely. Recovery should be rapid at that time and playability should not be dramatically impacted. Topdressing will follow this procedure and we will be collecting the extracted cores to re-grow our nursery which was depleted this year from the extensive ice damage last winter. I'll blog about these activities as work commences.

 Tired of photographing turf, photographer (me) catches a Belted Kingfisher enjoying the day (or maybe admiring No. 12 green!) while perched on bridge railing

Hope you find the time to get out and enjoy this beautiful weather!

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