Saturday, April 30, 2011

Poa annua Weed Control

Most golfers have heard of the weed Poa annua, also known as Annual Bluegrass.  It's an especially troublesome weed because it produces seedheads at low mowing heights. Take a look at this picture of Poa annua in the rough.

The seedheads are especially a problem on greens where it affects ball roll. Also, Poa annua is not as tolerant to stressful weather periods in the summer and will die out. Leaving areas without turf. Plus, the color of the weed is more yellow as opposed to the greener turf that is predominantly grown throughout the course.

One way that we control this weed is by applying plant growth regulators in the spring. Certain plant growth regulators affect the Poa annua more then the bentgrass thus giving the desired species, creeping bentrgrass, a chance to outcompete the less desirable Poa annua. Here's a look of a picture of Poa annua in a fairway.

Notice how less pronounced it looks as opposed to the rough. The application of plant growth regulators does however slow the growth of the creeping bentgrass in the fairways.

Currently there are no post-emergent herbicides label for Poa annua control. Making this one of, if not the most difficult to control weeds in golf course management. However, we are fortunate enough to have on-hand an experimental herbicide which has shown great results against Poa annua. While we only have enough to treat a small area it will give us invaluable insight in how best to use this product at Fieldstone when it is available on the market next year.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Creek Project Update- April 29, 2011

Thought I'd share some photos taken this morning. The re-circulating pumps are up and running and the flow of water looks great. Next week we expect to hydroseed all the native areas not sodded. Everything is quickly coming together!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Deep Tine Aerification

On Monday we deep tined the greens. Basically, this is a process where solid tines that are 1/2 inch in diameter by 10 inches long are used to punch holes in the greens. No cores are taken out but what it does is create channels to increase oxygen into the rootzone. Soil physical testing has shown that we have a little too much organic matter in the upper soil profile. By getting oxygen into these areas the natural breakdown of the organic matter occurs. Plus, these channels will be used by roots to penetrate deeper into the rootzone.

Here's a picture of how it looks when complete. Notice the spacing between holes is fairly wide which causes less disruption in play:

Here is the machine actually making the holes:

Finally, here is a photo of what it looks like under the ground once the machine passes through. This picture shows a hole in which the cup has been removed. Notice how the tine actually went in outside the cup but do to it's "kick" action once in the ground the tine moves creating a bigger hole in the rootzone which can be seen in this photo:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Creek Project Update-4.15.11

With the new concrete cart paths poured we are at the beginning of the end for the creek project. The Springhouse at the top of the creek to the right of #15 green is looking really good. This is where the source of the water will come from and is being built to look as ruins. Here's a picture of how it is progressing:

Another area in which I get questions is in front of #13 green. This area will not have running water. But it will have water in it after rains. Bill Duncan from White Oak Landscaping has chosen a nice selection of native plants and shrubs to install throughout the project. These plants are scheduled to begin installation next week. Once mature the area in front of #13 green will look dramatically different. Here's how it looks now:

Look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow for Opening Day. Please do not hesitate to stop and ask me any questions or if you'd like to share a comment.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Concrete Pouring of Cart Paths

Today we accomplished two major goals. The first was the powering up of the new electrical line that feeds the new well, recirculating pumps for the creek and the halfway house. None of these areas are prepared for the final electrical tie-in but the primary lines have power which was the hardest part to do. Here is a picture of Nickle Electrical's sub-contractor, AUI Power. turning the power off at the transformer next to #1 green:

With a good chance of rain scheduled for Tuesday we had to switch plans this morning to get all the concrete poured today for the cart paths. Using some creative thinking we transformed our utility vehicles into concrete transporters to get to holes #6, #13, #14 and #15. Here's how that looked:

Finally, here is a reminder that mother nature is wonderful. A turtle crossing the cart path on #7:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Cart Paths, Stone Work and Soil Temps

This weekend we are removing broken concrete and forming these areas to pour concrete on Monday and Tuesday. This will temporarily inconvenience the flow of certain holes, especially #13 and #14 but by next weekend we hope to be driving on these new paths. Here's a look at some concrete removal on hole #13:

The next time you are playing hole #15 look to the right of the cart path as you are going to the green and you will see what is the beginning of a stone spring house. White Oak Landscape is creating this to look as if it's been there for quite some type as the source for the flowing stream. Here is what it looks like now:

Finally, just a quick note on soil temperatures. The temperature of the soil is really what is key to getting the turf to grow. This mean sustained temperatures above 50 degrees both day and night. While a day or two of warm weather helps, it's the temperature below the ground that determines when the turf begins to grow and break out of it's winter dormancy.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Creek Update, Foam Marking and Smarty Reflectors

This week Nickle Electrical is finishing up the work needed for the electrical outlets that go along the creek for the water circulation pumps. On Monday the high voltage connection will occur so everything will be powered up. White Oak continues to sod along the creek banks in high erosion areas. Work on the stone bridge that crosses the creek on #15 is looking great. They will be moving to the crossing to #13 green/#14 tees shortly. The long awaited work on the cart path that was taken out on #14 will happen this weekend. Hope to prep this weekend and pour concrete early next week. We will also be pouring concrete where we had to cross the cart path on holes #2, #6, #10, #13 and #15. Finally our staff is digging the trench and installing the 4" pipe that will connect the new well to the existing well which is located to the right of #15 green. We will tie-in to the pipe that feeds our irrigation lake.

I seem to always get questions about the white foam people see on the golf course when we make agronomic applications. Here's a picture of what I'm talking about in fairway #2.

These are actually soap mixed with water that come out of the end of the booms on our sprayers. They help us to see where we have been when making these applications. Depending on the weather they may hang around from a few minutes to an hour or so. Today and tomorrow we are applying a pre-emergent herbicide to fairways and tees.

One last item to note, we have also installed the Smarty Reflectors on the driving range flagsticks. So both the flags on the golf course and the driving range have them.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Reflectors and Wire Pulling

We have added reflectors to each flag stick on the golf course. They are located above the flag and for those of you who use laser range finders it will be much easier to get distances to the flags.
Yesterday we were able to get the high voltage wire pulled to the new well and up to the halfway house. Because of the wet conditions some on-site ingenuity had to be used. Normally a large line truck is used to pull the wire through. Due to the wet conditions a smaller piece of equipment needed to be used. So the rope used to pull the wire through was wrapped around the tracks of a mini-excavator and pulled through.

This made it much easier to do the work without having to bring heavy equipment onto the actual golf course. The connections are scheduled to be made this Monday to have power available to the new well, water features and halfway house. Once the electrical work is completed inside the halfway house and the water features are set we will be able to power them up.