Recent News

Recent News

Jun

29

Mountain Woods Maintenance Blog June 2018

 

May 2018 Maintenace Blog
 
                  As I write this newsletter, it is actually raining… finally! The month of May was about one of the most miserable and frustrating I have encountered in over 20 years in the business! We did have periodic rain, but for the most part, it was incredibly dry and cold (sometimes freezing), which does not make recovering turfgrass happy. As I think about it, it doesn’t make me very happy either. The weather has a huge impact on what we do as humans, especially when we are trying to grow things. I have been hearing of huge crop losses, gardens dying, and flowers turning to mush. Well, folks, turfgrass is no different!!! However, if the forecasts are right, good times are just around the corner.
                  Greens:  Coming through the Spring with damage is one thing, but when it turns cold and dry, with numerous heavy frosts, trying to get turf to germinate and knit together can almost become impossible. The crew and I have been working incredibly hard to get everything going quicker, but mother nature has not been very cooperative. When temperatures drop low at night, all of the energy of growth stops, and it can take the better part of the next day for turf to get moving again. Tarps can help with this, but there is a point where tarping can lead to disease outbreaks where the green can actually die from Fusarium. For example, Tuesday night was warm and humid, and the damaged areas increased in density double from what was happening for the whole week prior.  Just so you know about the inputs so far: every damaged green where temporaries are in play, or roped areas on greens, there has been $750 worth of seed per green, $250 worth of fertilizer, and between walk-behind mowing, aeration, and watering, there is a combined total of 25-30 hours per week. With the weather changing, things are going to happen quickly, so the ropes will get smaller and smaller until eventually they are removed. The 7th green is looking like all things are a go for Saturday morning. We just recently top-dressed heavily to try to smooth things out, but it will take a couple of days to get a good mow and get the height of cut shorter. Things are moving in a positive direction, but if it goes cold and dry again, I am going to work for Walmart, and never look at grass again!!!
                  Tees:  The tees came through the winter a bit rough and there was some ice damage. I just reseeded #2 blue tee today with the rain coming in, but it has been recovering on its own for a while. Once again, the cold dry weather really shut down a lot of recovery, and some tees have had a hard time just being open, but with things changing, we will be aerating the tees (which started today), a wetting agent was applied that will help water movement and retention, and we will be fertilizing and start spot seeding. The best way to help us with this process is to use the divot containers. We will be adding 4 more this year, so please make sure they are being used regularly and continually have to be refilled by my staff!!
                  Fairways: Its hard to believe, but we became so dry recently, that we have almost lost some turf in certain areas of the fairways. We still have some areas damaged from last year’s drought and have some ice damage from the winter. I decided to run the aeravator on fairways 1,3,4, and 11 to get things going, and to fill in the weak areas.  We seeded the weak areas, and poa annua grass is in full seed right now, so everywhere the soil fractured, the seed will have a place to go and germinate. I am confident that with the recent rain, and the fact that poa is in seed, that the fairways will fill in soon. Also, there was a lot of fertilizer put down recently that hasn’t released yet, so it's going to cause a surge in growth and fill in. Some of the weakest fairways will also be receiving another application of a slow release fertilizer that will sustain growth every time it rains. Without fairway irrigation, this will always be a challenge, but we are doing everything possible to make better fairways for you.
                  Bunkers: Its that time of the year where weed seed, that has found its way into our bunkers, starts to germinate, so we have been hand weeding, when time permits, so please bear with us. Unfortunately, the course has lost quite a bit of sand when flooding occurred in January. We will be bringing in a couple of loads of bunker sand shortly, and we will be adding to those that need it. Remember to please rake your shot area smooth!!!
                  Well, that’s all for now, and I can’t wait to see the course over the next couple of days after the rain soaks in. To this day, we still have no idea why rain will stimulate turf to grow and germinate when compared to irrigation water. Over the years, I have seen turf that has been devastated by winterkill seeded and watered for weeks with little or no movement, and then one warm rain occurs, and everything just pops and fills in. Should you ever have any questions, please feel free to contact me at any time.