It has been a while since my last post…..we have been busy trying to keep up with the extremely warm September weather. Areas all over Ontario have experienced record breaking temperatures in the past 2 weeks. The golf course has faired well, with the exception of some very dry areas in the fairways. These areas have been dry most of the season, they truly need a good couple days of rain to perk them back up (looks like we are going to get it this week).
With the temperatures going back to seasonal, we will see the grass start to slow down and start to preserve itself for the long winter ahead. We have now started to help it along with some cultural practices and fertility.
Last week we verticut greens to help reduce the amount of tillering in the canopy of the greens. This will open up some room for the topdressing that we will be putting down this coming week. We will be trying a new procedure this time with our greens topdressing. We are going to verticut the sand into the green before we brush it in. This practice has been performed by some of my colleagues with success and as always, we are willing to mix it up a little.
We have been applying some fertilizer in the past week on greens, tees and fairways. On greens and tees we put down a granular fertilizer to provide us with a long term feed and help the turf grass strengthen for both the cultural practices and the fall/winter season. On fairways we applied a liquid stabilized nitrogen with an acidic soil conditioner through the sprayer. This again provides some strength and also will help keep the fairways growing and aid in prevention/recovery of fall dollar spot.
Dollar spot is a disease that effects turf grass in our region the entire golf season. It is particularly hard and expensive to control on fairways. The heavy morning dews and its ability to flourish in both warm and cool temps, make it a tough one. We do our best to reduce severity of infection by adequate fertility and daily dew removal (with our drag hose). Our goal is to go into the winter with no scarring from Dollar spot, the voids created from the scars create opportunity for Poa annua germination in the spring. This is one of the undesirable grasses that is very susceptible to disease, drought and other turf grass stresses.
We have begun working on some bunker surrounds on #5 green and the bunkers on the 17 th. On #5 we have removed the sod and will be bull nosing the lip and resodding the surrounds this week. This bunker receives an incredible amount of play, combined with the fact that it is south facing (constant sun exposure) and that it receives very little water through irrigation makes the sod very stressed in the heat of summer. We will be installing a perimeter irrigation head on the left side of the green to help keep this area irrigated during the summer months. On the 17 th we are resodding the lips that we bull nosed in the spring. Through this new process we had some successes and some failures. When we bull nosed the bunkers on 17, right after we finished cutting out the soil and tamping the sod down, it began to get warm and dry. This was very detrimental to the sod. When you remove the soil and existing roots form sod, you are relying on overhead water to help the sod survive and re-root. We did our best to water these areas a few times a day, but it was not enough. We decided to live with the dried out surrounds for the summer and wait until the weather turned cool to give the new sod a fighting chance. It is our goal to get both #5 and #17 sodded this week.
We also have some minor drainage work planned for some areas of the practice range and short game area. I will be posting later on the process that we have decided to use to remedy some of the “wash boarding” in our green surrounds.
Once the rain is out of the forecast we will be mowing down all of the Native areas on the golf course. We do this to aid in weed control and prevention of woody species invasion.
Another sign that fall is here is that the leaves have started to fall. We have begun our leaf management by blowing and mulching leaves that are in play.