Friday, August 31, 2018

Breathing a sigh of relief.

The first day of September always brings a sense of relief in my line of work.  The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting cooler, and the stress of keeping grass alive begins to decline.  We have had a very successful August at Sycamore Ridge.  The greens have been aerified, and are completely healed, a large portion of our fall seeding is done, and recent rains have the new grass growing in nicely.  Given the weather we had during the summer, the course is in really nice shape heading into fall.  There were just enough breaks in the heat during late July and August, that the course is in better condition today than it was on July 4th.

Even though, the stress levels may be declining, we still have a lot of work we want to accomplish on the course before winter.  We will be installing some new irrigation where there is none, and then repairing and re-grassing these same areas to improve golfing conditions.  Most of the work we plan to do is in high traffic areas.  While it is difficult to grow grass with the constant traffic of carts on it, it is impossible when these areas are not irrigated.  Some other traffic areas have a lot of rocks below the surface, we will be removing the rocks and back-filling with topsoil to give the turf a fighting chance of surviving.  You may see more ropes than usual on the course.  This is to protect these areas from cart traffic.  Please understand that the work we do is for you, to ensure that your experience at Sycamore Ridge is as enjoyable as possible.

We seeded some areas in the fairways just three days ago, and the seed is already germinating.  This is the kind of stuff I geek out about.  This is a picture of a Creeping Bentgrass seedling that I found just this morning.  Understand that it normally takes 5-7 days for this seed to germinate.  To have a 1/4" blade and 3/4" roots in this short of time is just amazing.  Protecting these seedlings will give them the best chance of survival.

 We had great success in repairing the area on 18 fairway, when we seeded in July.  The areas we seeded on Tuesday should fill in just as well in the next month.  These are  pictures taken of 18 fairway on July 28, 2018, and August 31, 2018.

We do the work we do because we love it.  There are many reasons I chose to become a Golf Course Superintendent.  These are the joys of my job.  I may not be able to keep all of the grass alive all of the time, but given the weather of 2018, I consider myself fortunate to have the course in the great condition it is.

At the beginning of this blog, I said that we had completed aerification.  If you are reading this and don't regularly play at Sycamore Ridge, please give us a try when your course is aerifying their greens.  I know you will enjoy the challenge and conditions we offer.