Friday, March 29, 2019

Spring Has Arrived!

It is hard to believe that in just my last post, I was lamenting whether or not winter would ever end, and now we have finished spring aerification.  Winter has ended, and things are full steam ahead on the golf course maintenance side.  We have been put behind schedule on several projects due to the harsh winter, and we are working hard to get back on track to finish these up.  The irrigation system has been pressurized, and tees, greens, and fairways are being mowed.

I have been the Golf Course Superintendent at Sycamore Ridge for 12 years now.  My first spring aerification in 2007 was a deep tine aerification.  This process allows us to get much deeper into the sand root zone and break up compaction below the surface.  This is what we did again this week, for the first time since 2007.  When we are changing cups or working below the surface of the green, we can tell that there is a compaction layer that is difficult for the roots to penetrate.  We were able to borrow a machine that allowed us to poke holes down to nearly seven inches, and get a little kick at the bottom to shatter that compaction.  Our normal aerification only penetrates 4 to 5 inches, and can create that compaction just below that line.  Hopefully, we will see deeper rooting on the greens this spring as a result of this aerification.

As is our normal process, we sanded the greens before poking the holes.  The sand was then allowed to dry and brushed into the holes to fill them up.  After brushing, any excess sand is blown off of the green and it is rolled and a new cup installed.  This time, I feel that the process produced a fantastic end result.  The majority of the holes were completely filled, and the greens were firm and smooth afterwards. The post aerification healing time should be very short, and we will have great greens again in a matter of days.

The weather may be cooling off over the next few days, and that will not help.  The rains we got yesterday and again today will help to wash the sand into the profile and speed up the healing process.

I am very excited for the 2019 golf maintenance season at Sycamore Ridge.  I feel that with the support of ownership, we are positioned to have a fantastic year on the course.

One last quick reminder for those of you that do your own home lawn care... your pre-emergent weed control should be applied and watered in before April 15th.  Just remember that you cannot seed again until fall if you make this application, but it is the best way to keep out crabgrass and other summer weeds.

As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Will Winter Ever End?????

In the current forecast, I see a change for the better, with temperatures rising closer to normal.  Unfortunately, I also see some regular precipitation.  Everyone at the golf course is anxious for spring to arrive.  We are looking forward to getting back to a routine on maintenance work and seeing the friendly golfers out on the course.

So far it has been a brutal winter with very few golfing days.  We have had to chip more ice off of the cart path this winter than has been done in the previous 11 winters combined.  The ground is wet, and will be wet for a long time to come.  As temperatures rise, and the frost comes out of the ground, moisture will come with it.

With all of the snow this winter, there are areas covered with Snow Mold.  This is a disease that  attacks turf when it is covered with snow for a prolonged period of time.
Snow Mold

In my years, I have seen Snow Mold several times, but never like this year.  Normally, it is simply superficial, and grows back rather quickly.  I certainly hope that is the case again this year.

The temperature is a balmy 10 degrees as I write this post.  It is weird to think that we are already making arrangements for our spring aerification that is scheduled for three weeks from today.  The greens have a long way to go to be ready for aerification.

The winter has been so harsh, that many of the scheduled projects have been delayed.  As the temperatures rise, we will work to finish up what has been started, and hopefully have time to get a few more done.

I am sure that all of you have cabin fever, and are anxious to get back on the course.  Hopefully this will happen soon, and we can all enjoy a long, pleasant spring.  To get you excited, I will leave you with this picture of number 10 green, taken on a warm summer day.  See you all soon!!!!!