Thursday, April 18, 2013

Is it still winter?

March and April have been some interesting months.  We did not have any significant snow fall until the end of January and the snow is still continuing into mid-April.  The last few weeks, we have been receiving snow fall ranging from 6-16 inches every 7-14 days.  We had planned to aerify greens and the 8th and 9th but we got snowed out.  Rescheduled to the 16th and 17th but we got snowed out.  With the golf and tournament season knocking on my door, we have planned to skip greens aerification all together.  Soil temperatures are still in the mid 30's and recovery from aerification will be slow.  We will star and needle tines the greens every 3-4 weeks throughout the growing season to keep them happy and healthy.  We are still planning on aerifying all tees, collars, approaches, fairways and rough.  We can shuffle our schedule around as to not bother our guests experiences.  This cultural practice will start as soon as weather permits us.  Arrowhead's fairways have never been truly aerfied so this first attemp will be interesting.  We are planning on core aerifiying with 3/4 inch tines to about 2 inches in depth to remove the many years of thatch build-up.  We will be reseeding all winter kill areas at a high rate with RPR Ryegrass.  All tees, collars, approaches will be reseeded with RPR Ryegrass.  Greens will be seeded with T1 when optimal soil temperature rises for Bentgrass germination. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Frost Delay and why?

I am an early-morning golfer. What is the justification for frost delays?

 Frost Issues
Frost is essentially frozen dew. Ice crystals visible on the outside of the plant can also form on the inside of grass blades. The grass plant, normally resilient to footsteps or cart traffic, becomes brittle and fragile when ice crystals form. Under the pressure of traffic, ice crystals puncture living plant tissues and rupture plant cells. Damage will not appear right away, but it will show up in footsteps and tire tracks the following days as the plant is unable to repair itself and begins to die. Frost damage can occur on any turfgrass mowed at any height, but it is amplified when the plant is mowed low, as on a putting green.
Keep in mind that a foursome typically takes several hundred footsteps on each green, so even allowing just a few groups to play when frost is present can be very damaging to the greens, as well as to the rest of the golf course. It is not completely understood when frost will cause damage, so the decision to keep traffic off the course must be made conservatively to protect the condition of the course. For this reason, golf facilities are wise to delay starting times in the morning until frost has completely melted.

This article was written by Ty McClellen, Manager Green Section Education