Welcome to my blog!
It is my intention to give the readers a better understanding of what we do to maintain The Farms Country Club's 18 hole championship golf course and grounds.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Condition of Greens. What to Expect!

All greens have been aerified, overseeded, topdressed and dragged.


We also applied our second application for Poa Annua seed-head control.

Here is what to expect:
We need soil temperatures to warm up enough for all turfgrasses to "break dormancy". Poa Annua starts to grow before Creeping Bentgrass. This is one of the predominant reasons green's turf is uneven early in the season.

Complicating our desire to provide you with an early, smooth putting surface, is our use of growth regulators. They are applied early in the season to eliminate near 90% of the Poa Annua seed-heads. Without these applications, we would reduce playability until JUNE! The drawback is that the growth regulator applications also slow the recovery of the aerification holes.

In early Spring, I deliberately play a delicate game of balancing our seed-head reduction and fertilization with aerification and the recovery there of.

My primary goal is balancing turf health while providing you with outstanding putting conditions for the longest continuous period of time until August when we aerify the greens again.

What we do now for turf health, sets the tone for the entire season's playability!

In short, regardless of the crazy Spring weather we have seen, our greens are healthy and they will get better every day!

Let's root for warmer soil temperatures! I'll do the rest!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Everything Happens At Once in Spring!

What is the Superintendent talking about? Everything happens at once in the Spring?

  • Get greens in shape as soon as frost gone by cleaning, rolling then mowing and getting those pins in!
  • Stop the rain and warm up those soil temperatures!
    • Every time we get the slightest bit of rain, the ground is saturated and limits our ability to use larger equipment (mowers, rollers, sprayers, blowers, sweepers, etc.) which optimize our maintenance efficiency.
  • Make our Poa Annua seed-head suppression applications.
    • Many of you may not remember what it was like when we did not do this.
      • I may skip a few small spots in fine turf areas to help remind you.
        • Obliviously very small spots with limited impact
    • Imperative we do at right timing or playing conditions and Poa Annua health will suffer!
      • 1st application on greens slated for tomorrow.
        • We will not mow the greens again until next week because we want to achieve maximum efficacy by letting product remain on leaf blade for maximum absorption. We will roll Friday in preparation for ABCD tournament on Saturday.
        • If weather permits (expecting rain Friday night), we will whip dew off greens Saturday AM for the 9:00AM Shotgun.
    • Tee and fairway applications will be completed early next week as weather allows.
  • Pre-emergent Crabgrass applications on tees and fairways will begin as soon as the first mowing is complete. Estimated timing is next week in conjunction with seed-head prevention applications.
    • There has been concern about crabgrass prevention applications being counterproductive to divot & seed mix germination program. This is untrue. Preventative crabgrass applications work by creating a barrier that juvenile crabgrass seedlings hit as they sprout. As they pass through the herbicide barrier the seedlings are killed.
    • When a divot is taken by a player, the barrier is physically removed in the "chunk" of turf.
    • We replace the divot with a soil medium that is sterile (no weed seed) and is designed to hold moisture so the expensive seed we use has the best chance of germination. 
      • All this said... remember that we do not over water tees and fairways during the season for the sake of seed germination in divots. Our primary goal is a fast firm playing surface. Replacement of divots at that time would be worse because they dry out and die and then the mower rolls it out of the hole. All that is left is a player facing a shot from an unfilled divot.
  • We are aerifying greens beginning Monday April 14th!
    • We are using the same size tines as always, one-half inch diameter
    • We will proceed as quickly as possible to accomplish the process including overseeding and topdressing.
    • How fast the greens heal is truly dependent on soil temperatures. The warmer the better! More seed will germinate and existing turf will fill in. 
Lets get this season going!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Bump in The Road!

Three inches of rain and three inches of unpredicted snow is just a bump in the road. It's going to be wet, but before the weather hit, the frost was coming out of the ground quick. I was able to extract some sample plugs from a few greens.
Samples from greens #4, #11, #13 & #18. Some already breaking dormancy. 
It's hard to tell in the picture that all of the plugs are looking good so far. Some plugs have less sand on their surface than others. A few more days of simulated Spring will tell the tale of winter survival. That said... I like what I see so far.
The crazy weather may have slowed our efforts on the course but we are busy in the shop finalizing our winter equipment overhaul and doing some overdue housekeeping.

Clear out the equipment!
Clean out the inside of facility and re-organize!
Marshall giving the bay doors a well deserved cleaning!