Our Approach

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Our Approach

Moisture Management on Bentgrass vs Poa

It is no secret that keeping a dry golf course, any time of the year, is a good thing. But no time of the year provides more benefit to being dry than the spring which unfortunately we did not experience this year. Spring is when golf turf is most actively growing root material and roots will go searching for water.

There is a common misconception that is heard often about our greens being poa. Although there is a percentage of poa in them, it is very small. With the exception of 4 and 14, our greens are prominently bentgrass and this allows us to push the limits of dryness even further. Bentgrass is resilient, especially this time of year. Allowing bentgrass plants to dry to the point of wilting will not cause long term damage to the plants; a little moisture and the bentgrass plants perk right back. The same can't be said for poa. Here are pictures showing bentgrass vs poa.


Top left (darker green) is bentgrass, lime green is poa on 17 green.


Lime green is poa on #4 green.

With that being said, our fairways are prominently poa which requires us to water them more often than greens. Our irrigation system was fired up on April 28th, but up until the last couple nights(Sunday and Monday), has not been put to the test with overnight cycles.  Like with everything that has been sitting for an extended period of time overwinter, there are some kinks to work out.

Mowing Programs

With May Long in the rear view mirror, and one with great weather, I am constantly reminding myself of the slow and cold spring we just experienced. Often times when the weather does not cooperate neither does the turf. As turf managers, spring is a time for recovery and preparing the turf for a busy and stressful summer. Mowing heights are slightly raised in the fall and kept at that height moving into the spring. Spring days are warm, the nights are cool and there is little stress on the plants. For this reason, the plants are able to put the fruits of their photosynthetic labor towards root growth and development. The larger a plant’s root system, the more efficiently the plant is able to draw water and nutrients from the soil. Heights will be lowered once we are comfortable with the spring recovery and feel that the turf can handle the stress of being cut at a very low. We anticipate this happening early next week, weather dependent.

Weed Management

Just like the late start to the season, as did our weed management program start late. It is our policy to limit our pesticide use as much as possible.  Turf Care spent a significant amount of time last week manually removing weeds out of bunkers and spot spraying dandelions around the golf course. Dandelions on tees and around the majority of bunkers have been treated. It was quite evident this past weekend when driving around the golf course and that we have a long way to go. This process will be continuing when weather permits.

 

Chris Prodahl
Golf Course Superintendent

Posted: 5/24/2017 10:43:57 AM by Chris Prodahl


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