Sunday, July 24, 2011

Weekly Schedule for July 25-31, 2011

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

This past week a sample of the collars was taken to the laboratory for a soil physical analysis. In approximately three weeks we will have the results and a more comprehensive plan for the collars can be made and shared.

On Monday we will star-tine the greens. This causes very little disruption to the green and will be almost unnoticeable after mowing Tuesday morning.

On Monday the DryJect machine is coming back for the collars. This is described in an earlier post: DryJect

Friday, July 22, 2011

Cart Path Only

This is a telling picture of what cart damage does to the turf on hot days.

It is evident that the straight lines seen here are from cart tires driving through stressed turf. Therefore, we will require that all golf carts stay on the paths until cooler temperatures come along.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Heat is On!!!!!

We are finishing up day one of a three day spell where temperatures are expected to reach almost 100 degrees each day. The turfgrasses on the playing surfaces at Fieldstone are included in a group of plants called, Cool Season Turfgrasses. These plants begin to shut down when temperatures reach over 90 degrees. Needless to say this is occurring now. So, what are some of the things we do to keep the turf alive through this stressful period.

-Use of fans on #8 green to lower the temperature of the turf canopy
-Raise the height of cut to minimize stress on the turf
-Mow less often
-Use wetting agents on dry spots to try and correct any water repellency in the soil
-Monitor soil moisture levels. Too wet can be just as bad as too dry since extra water in the rootzone coupled with the high temperatures will cook the roots.

Most importantly, the biggest help is what was done before this hot and dry spell. Healthier plants withstand the stress of drought and heat better then poorly growing plants. A healthy root system through proper aerification, fertility, irrigation management, etc is truly the key to success in these situations. So while we try and help the turf through this period, the heavy lifting has already been done to get the turf ready.

Here's a picture of a staff member handwatering #14 fairway.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Additional Water

This month we have received 0.93 inches of rain at the golf course. During the first 20 days of July last year 5.42 inches of rain was received. That also leaves us less then 25% of what is considered average for July. Needless to say we need rain!

In order to get additional water we are connecting an on-site well to the irrigation lake. This is the pipe that can been seen in this picture running along hole #2.

Our goal is to have this additional water by the end of the day on Thursday. Our Specialty Technician, Rob McFadden, is working very hard to get this done.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Weekly Schedule for July 18-24, 2011

Thanks to all for the great comments regarding course conditions at the Men's Invitational. It is very much appreciated!

Look for an in-depth post regarding collars early this week.

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

Our goals this week is to help the golf course recover from the stress of the Men's Invitational and to prepare for the Ladies Member/Member this weekend.

Cart traffic stakes will go be out starting Tuesday to show where carts should enter/exit the fairways.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Weekly Schedule for July 11-17, 2011

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

This week we will be drying out the course and focusing on detail work for this week's Invitational.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fans, Wasps and Broken Tees

The fans are up around #8 green. They oscillate and provide air movement across the green surface in what is normally a stagnant area. Our goal with these fans is to reduce heat stress by cooling the turf canopy. Here's how they look:

There are several bunkers throughout the course which have flying insects in them. They are called Sand Wasps and ARE NOT dangerous and DO NOT sting. While annoying, they are harmless. Unfortuntalely they are difficult to control, but we have an idea that may work. It will be labor intensive but we should see some results over the next 1-2 weeks.

Finally, we have placed broken tee baskets on all the Blue tees throughout the course. Please use them to put your tees in so our mowers do not run over them which leads to damaged reels.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Weekly Schedule for July 4-10, 2011

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Venting of the greens takes place on Tuesday. Little to no disruption of the greens.
-Aerifying and topdressing of dry spots in fairways.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Wetting Fork

As the weather warms up dry spots appear throughout the golf course. These areas are called Localized Dry Spots (LDS) and are hydrophobic. This means the soil repels water. So applying the normal amount of irrigation to these areas is not sufficient. We use several different tools to help with this. Wetting agents help make the irrigation water "wetter" so that the soil is attracted to the water instead of repelling it.

Now we have another option. A wetting fork. This is inserted into the soil and is connected to a hose with a valve and looks like this:

The water is injected in different directions underneath the turf to get the soil wet. Here our intern from Delaware Valley College, David Smith, demonstrates on #13 forward tee how it inserts into the soil:

Then the valve is opened and the water comes out: