Maintenance Blog

Maintenance Blog


Jul

8

Mountain Woods Golf Club Maintenance Blog July 2016

Well I wish I could say that June went as planned, but after being in the turf industry as long as I have, you soon realize that mother nature will always find a way to throw a kink in the chain. We lost about 12 days to bad weather, followed with intensive heat that caused alot of turf stress and a slightly stressed superintendent.  In one month I got the chance to see alot of extremes that this course may be up against at anytime, and it was a great learning experience for me. It certainly has helped with future planning in the months and years to come. Projects have been delayed, but they are always an integral part of planning, and I hope to complete most of them in the next few weeks.

One good thing that came out of the bad, wet weather is that fairway 1,3,and 4 became soft enough for aeration so I took advantage of the situation and doubled aerified 1, single aerified 3 and 4, and was able to pull a 3 inch core. This is promising for the future to develop  better soil and growing conditions for those fairways. They will be heavily fertilized shortly. We also broadcast seeded and hand seeded dead spots to help fill in the bad areas, but there is a long way to go. Things are improving though.

One negative side to prolonged wet and humid conditions was the development of a fungal disease on the some of the greens called anthracnose. It was here last year, but was never diagnsed or managed properly. I diagnosed it right away and treatments have already started. On the sixth green, it came in fast and furious and developed patch symptoms rapidly. It is the type of disease that attacks weak turfgrass, and number 6 happens to be one of the weakest greens on the course. The green was aerated, and treated with fungicide and a high phosphorous fertilizer to stimulate root growth. It was also overseeded and topdressed.  There has been an immediate response which is promising, but some plugging may have to be done. Anthracnose is a hard disease to shut down, but now that it has been diagnosed, a preventative program will be put into place for next year when soil temperatures fall into the anthracnose infective stage. A program of improved turf health has been developed for the greens for the duration of the season to help keep the disease at bay.

I recently applied wetting agents to the greens, and they have responded exceptionally, and have evened out well beyond what I thought would take place. Growth regulators are also being used on a bi-weekly basis, and this will improve greens consistency, health, quality of cut, and will also make evening golf more enjoyable with decreased growth rates. I hope you are enjoying the improved greens sites as much as I am enjoying the process to get there!

The tee decks are definately a work in progress, and I am not nearly where I thought I would be at this stage. We have continued with hand topdressing seed mixtures onto the decks, and will be solid tine aerating this month. I was originally going to pull cores, but it would cost an astronomical amount of money to do this with hollow tines, since the decks have alot of rocks internally, and are quite hard. Solid tine aeration will soften the decks, and make it easier to put a tee in. The tees will be hollow tine aerated at the end of the season when conditions allow for softer soil conditions.

One thing I didn't anticipate was the amount of weeds that would come into this course at a pace I have never seen before. One in particular, is white clover. We went from around 10% of course surface to a level that I can only call gross. Killing weeds this time of the year is difficult and often not overly effective due to the temperatures and chemical concentrations allowed. Basically if you apply herbicide at normal rates during warm weather, grass will turn brown, thin out and even die if temperatures get too high. I promise I will do my best throughout the season to remove as much as possible. In late September, and October, weed control will be done at higher concentrations that will kill the ugly invaders.  Clover control can be done in higher temperatures, so this will be my primary target. Anyone who knows of a 1000 or so bunny rabbits looking to work for food can contact me anytime!!!!!

The crew has been working hard, and hopefully you are seeing the effort they put in. I would also like to acknowledge the incredible effort the proshop has been putting in. I personally  have not seen a proshop that works as hard as this one. Great job guys! Hopefully july will be a month where everything will go as planned, and it has been so far.  I hope all of you are enjoying the course this year. It can only get better. Until next time........

 

Dave Davey, AGSA

 

Below: A photo of Josh hand seeding the fiarway on #1 after aeration.