Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Then and Now

A few years ago I came across some old construction pictures of the Pinery that I received from the grow in superintendent Jack Maurer. I thought I would do a then and now comparison of the old photographs taken back in 1971 when the golf course and club house were under construction. Most of the photos are not recognizable because of the lack of land markers but there are a few that I was able to recognize. I will post more Then and Now photos throughout the year.

#1, #9 mountain course

#8 green lake note the Purr-wick liner

#5 green lake

Monday, September 21, 2009

Snow in Summer ?

The first day of fall isn't until tomorrow but this morning we were all surprised with the rapid change in the weather over night and even some snow flurries this afternoon. This morning the temperature was only 36 degrees and falling. The National Weather Service www.crh.noaa.gov/bou/ predicted the high to be 49 degrees today. I don't think we are going to reach that today, not with snow falling at 11 am. The good news about the cooler temperature's and rain is our last fertilizer application went out last week. This natural irrigation it the best to water in all the fertilizer we just applied. On days like today we try to let the crew go home early and make up the hours later this week. But the forecast for the rest of the week doesn't look to promising until Friday. Lets hope for a little better weather over the weekend.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Fall Bulk Fertilizer

This September is the time for our third and last bulk fertilizer application to our fairways, rough, greens and tees. This fall application is probably the most important application of fertilizer of the entire year. Fall fertilizer is so important because it allows the turf plant to recover from all the stresses of the summer, developing more root structure and storing carbohydrates for the long winter. We should only see a little growth from this fertilizer application because in mid to late fall the plant is starting to harden off and storing energy for winter and spring green up. The definition of harden off is "The process of conditioning plants to more stressful environmental conditions". We harden off the plant by reducing the water, reducing top growth, and several applications of potassium sulfate which helps with plant stress.

We typically use a 70% organic fertilizer comprising of feather meal, fish meal, meat & bone meal, blood meal. The fertilizer also has elemental minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, ammonium sulfate, urea and potassium sulfate. These applications of organic fertilizers are not only beneficial for the golf course but the environment as well. With organic products we are building beneficial soil microbes that reduce thatch and diseases, and with little chance for runoff it also protects our water sources. At the end of the day if we could all use organic or recycled products our world would be a better cleaner place for generations to come.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Anatomy of Aerification

The definition aeration is, “The practice of improving the movement of air, water and nutrients into the soil by making holes or slits into the ground". Specialized machines are commonly used in these practice to remove the plugs or soil. The main reasons for aeration are the reduction of compaction from golfers, carts and maintenance equipment. By reducing compaction you increase the air, water and nutrient movement through the soil creating a healthier environment for root growth. With heather roots you have a healthier turf grass plant. In turn this creates healthy roots, making the plant more drought and heat tolerant, requiring less irrigation and hand watering. All of the cultural practice mentioned above hold true for all turf grass stands, whether on the golf course, fairways, rough our your own home lawn.

This fall we will be aerifing the tees and small rough areas only. Some of the fairways will be spiked with a bayonet tine. This tine does not remove any soil but has similar benefits to aerification.

Punching the tees

Putting down fertilizer and calcium

Applying blue grass seed

Chopping up plugs

Clean up crew

Watering in tee

In conclusion the cultural practice of aerification is an annual event that will benefit the turf grass plant, the golf course, and create overall better playing conditions.