Update... Greens Conditions
May 28th, 2018
To understand the work we have been doing to our greens and there spring condition... many have asked the question why. What we considered the problem and where it stemmed from... the aerification late last fall left us with exposed holes which did not close entirely before the winter set in. When snow cleared in late February, things looked good. March and April came with cold temperatures, exposed turf and little to no precipitation. With these open holes, the greens became susceptible to winter desiccation. We took sample plugs from our greens in March inside to grow. This showed the poa areas were affected (very weak) but the bent less affected (they grew normally). We consulted with Dave Oatis from the USGA, and fellow Superintendents on this form of desiccation; our shared opinion was that the hardier bentgrass would persevere through these conditions. With cool temperatures into late spring, I believe this weakened the bentgrass further to where we are today. Learning from this, we will go back to verti-draining greens earlier in the fall to assure the holes are sealed before winter.
Another cold spring has prolonged normal winter recovery, however with the warm weather finally here, good growth and recovery has begun. We have made repairs to weak areas on greens most affected. We are using bentgrass from our nursery for all repairs to keep this population high on our greens. The first communication to the membership was clear on getting the work done quickly so we could get on with our busy summer. This week is an important calendar date for our greens as we punch, seed and topdress before going into summer. This procedure is timed perfectly to help smooth any remaining “humps & bumps” the greens may have before we go to summer heights and speed. Coincidently, we will be following the same timing for summer heights as last year.
The weather remains unpredictable... In the past 3 starts, April has become a questionable month, almost winter-like. May is becoming our wake up and recovery month, with June being the true start to summer. While the calendar may say June, the turf conditions are that of early May.
The turf department always appreciates the support and understanding from our membership!
About the Author
Dean Baker, Certified Golf Course Superintendent (27 years). He joined Burlington Golf & Country Club in 2012, where he has enjoyed the remodelling and renovation of this historic 1922 Stanley Thompson design. Dean is a graduate of the University of Guelph where he remains involved with the program he graduated from, Associate Diploma in Turf Management. There he lends his expertise as an instructor to upcoming turf managers, by instructing the Human Resources for Turf Managers Course.Follow on Twitter More Content by Dean Baker