TURF TALK

Hope all is well. With all the holidays behind us now, its time to gear up for the upcoming season. I’ll touch base on some accomplishments over the last few months and some concerns I have going into the spring.

As you know this is the time of year we overhaul all the equipment in preparation for another mowing season. This includes grinding and sharping reels, replacing bearings,changing all fluids,checking and replacing hydraulic hoses on all the equipment. You get the picture. We have now refurbished all tee markers and hazard stakes and are in the process of repairing and painting the benches.

If you have played lately you will have noticed on holes #2 and 7 we have extended the cart path with stone in the parking areas. The guys did a great job and will continue on other areas as time allows. We are moving right along with our pre-emerge application to control our summer weeds and should be complete by the end of the month. As far as future projects the list is too long and didn’t want to mention them in case we couldn’t get to them all.

Green expectations as we head into the spring: As you know there are a lot of maintenance practices that take place in order to produce a smooth, fast and firm playing surface with ultradwarf greens. These consist of lowering the height of cut (which we increase going into the winter months) verticutting, grooming, brushing ,topdressing and applying a growth regulator weekly. Unfortunately these practices cannot be preformed this time of year. Once we get into more favorable weather conditions for bermuda grass these practices will be reinstated. Until then as the temperatures fluctuates and we start getting short periods of warm weather the greens will start to come out of dormancy and new growth will take place. Therefore the green speeds and smoothness will drop off, so please be patient as this occurs, its only temporary.

Now my concerns, we just recorded one of the driest summers on record. With that being said, it has caused a lot of stressed turf going into the winter if we have any severe cold weather ahead I’m worried about the survival rate in these areas. At this time I have pulled some plug samples in to see if I can promote any new  growth. It will take a couple weeks for results.  Even if everything is OK its still going to take some time for these areas to make a full recovery.

Hope to see you on the course soon
Gary Weller