Sunday, June 26, 2011

Quiet Week

I was just commenting to our General Manager, Mike Sander, that this has been a fairly quiet week for us on the Fieldstone Agronomy Team. The lake is almost filled and the weather has provided us a nice break with moderate temperatures and some rain showers.

Looks like we are getting some good germination on the driving range tee as can be seen from these photos:

We had aerified and slit seeded the lower driving range tee this past week as well to help it recover.

This past week also saw the seeding of the small green next to the putting green that is used for practice bunker shots. Hitting golf balls to this area is fine. We just ask that you do not walk on the newly seeded surface.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Weekly Schedule for June 20-26, 2011

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

On Wednesday morning we will be aerifying and slit-seeding the lower tee on the driving range.
We will continue to aerify and slit seed any areas on fairways that need it. Focusing on fairways #1 and #2.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Bunker Faces

Our pre-emergent herbicide program for crabgrass on bunker faces has been a success. While nothing is 100% we are very happy with the results we've seen. This week we will be applying a post-emergent herbicide to a weed called nutsedge on bunker faces which can be seen in this photo.

This past week we applied nitrogen and a plant growth regulator called Primo MAXX to all bunker faces. On the areas that are straight kentucky bluegrass with no ryegrass or fescue blended in the Primo Maxx has given it an off-color. This is normal and will quickly grow out of it.

While not a panacea, Primo MAXX has many good benefits as shown in this pdf file: Primo MAXX Benefits

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bunker Seeding on #8 and Fairway Seeding on #2

The drip irrigation has been installed on the bunker faces on #8. These areas have been seeded with fescue. In order for the seed to stay on the steep slopes we have added some matting which will break down over time.

We are doing some aerifying, seeding and topdressing on fairway #2. In order to promote germination of the seed we will be cart path only on this hole. As soon as we are able to carts will be allowed onto the fairway of this hole.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Weekly Schedule for June 13-19, 2011

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

On Monday we applied additional fertilizer on the fairways to bolster recovery in the stressed areas.
The drip irrigation on the back right bunker on #8 will be completed this week and seed will be planted.
Connection of additional well on #4 to the irrigation system.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Irrigation Break on #3 Green

Had an irrigation break occur this morning on #3 green. Fortunately we were here when it happened and were able to stop the leak from causing more damage. It will be repaired Monday morning. However it will take a few days for the green to be clear of the debris.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Hot, Hazy and Humid

The early season heat wave has come at a bad time for us as we try to fill our irrigation lake. We are fortunate to have the additional well that was dug as part of the creek project over the winter. However, with the high heat we are unable to sustain the amount of water needed in the lake to match the needed output on the golf course. The 0.5" of rain received last night did help. But it came in such a short amount of time that it did not give us the soaking effect needed. Hopefully some showers will come in over the weekend to help out as well.

Big priority now is recovery of turf in fairways from the stress. Lots of dormant turf out there but the roots and crowns of the plants are fine. This Monday we will go out with some additional nutrients to get these areas to recover faster. With the cooler weather we should see recovery in the next week.

Also, we have a new tool to use for dry areas that occur throughout the course. They are micro-jets that we can put together easily that will only water the areas needed. This is much more efficient then the irrigation heads which cover a diameter of about 160 ft. Here's a picture of what the micro-jets look like in action:

Notice how we can position them so that they are only in the dry area where it is needed. Our goal is to put them out first thing in the mornings then to pull them out once golfers arrive to the hole in which they are placed.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Divot Bottle Rack at Halfway House

We have installed a divot bottle rack at the halfway house where you can pick up full bottles and leave your empty ones.

Weekly Schedule for June 6-12, 2011

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

Our main objectives this week is to recover the stressed areas throughout the course from when we did not have water for three days last week. We will also be starting the installation of the drip irrigation around bunker faces on hole #8.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Irrigation Lake Update #2

Done! After several very long days the inlet pipe into our pump station is fixed and we are back to filling up the irrigation lake. Here's how it got fixed. First is a picture of the new strainer that goes on the end of the inlet pipe:

Here is a picture of the inside of the strainer showing the nozzles which clean it:

Here is a picture of the mechanical joint going on which will connect to the flange that goes around the PVC inlet pipe:

Now the flange is connected to the mechanical joint and the stand is put on so the strainer does not sit directly on the bottom of the lake:

Now the entire piece is rolled out to the boat to be taken out into the lake. Pictured are Assistant Superintendent Donovan Maquigan (in black shirt) and intern David Smith (green shirt) bringing it to the boat:

I was unable to take pictures of us putting the strainer on the end of the inlet pipe since I was in the boat. But it went on fine and we are now filling up the lake from our wells.

A huge thank you goes out to Rob McFadden, our Specialty Technician, for all his hard work and effort the past few days. He did all this while having a less then one week old baby at home. Please give him a thank you when you see him on the course.

Thanks Rob!!!!!

Irrigation Lake Update #1

The pond is lowered to about 4 ft where the end of the inlet pipe is located. This is the area in which we need to work. Below the water is muck so there is no solid ground beneath the lake. Fortunately there is a small concrete pad underneath the area where the stand for the strainer sits. Otherwise we will use empty wood pallets to stand on assuming they do not sink in the muck.

The greens are fine but there are dry areas in fairways and roughs. These areas are going dormat and are not dead. They will recover if we can get water to them in the next day or so. Plus we will use some micro-irrigation in these areas which I am excited to show everyone next week. This will help greatly.

We are awaiting the arrival of the new strainer. Once here we will install at the end of the inlet pipe and begin filling the lake up.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What's Happening in the Irrigation Lake Next to #1 Green?

Yesterday morning we arrived to the golf course to find this:

This is the inlet pipe that takes water from the lake and moves it into the pump station. There is a 13 ft. wet well that has two turbines that then takes the water and moves it out into the golf course for irrigation. It also connects to the bathrooms at the halfway house.

So why is it floating? What happened is the screen at the end of this pipe got clogged.

There is a self-cleaning mechanism that failed on the inside of the screen. Once clogged the pumps sucked in air which caused a pressure build up which then pulled the pipe away from itself near the shoreline.

Here's a picture of myself and our Specialty Technician, Rob McFadden, looking at the clogged screen:

In order to correct this problem we have ordered a new strainer. This will arrive tomorrow (Friday). In the meantime we are lowering the water level in the pond so we can reconnect the pipe from where it pulled out. In order for us to continue to water the necessary areas on the golf course our Head Mechanic, Greg Taylor, came up with the idea to pump the water from the lake directly into the wet well so we can still use the irrigation system. This is Assistant Superintendent Billy Hierman monitoring the process:

Will update later today as to how everything is going.