Saturday, August 6, 2016

Weeds and Green #6

During the last week of July we received 3 inches of rain. An issue that has occurred due to the precipitation is the premature breakdown of our preemergent herbicides for grassy weeds such as crab and goosegrass.

To combat this we are going out with post-emergent herbicides. Blanking the entire golf course with these products is both inefficient and expensive. Therefore we spot spray just the weeds as much as we can. However, spot spraying can sometimes deliver a little too much product and causes the desired turfgrass species around the weeds to temporarily discolor and look like this.

We are applying liquid fertilizer to fairways on Monday which should speed up recovery of the desired turf species. Areas in the rough where this has occurred will grow out of the discoloration as well.

The work done to the back left corner of green #6 last Fall did not fair like we wanted (Blog Post Oct. 1, 2015). So on Monday we are going to remove the 12 inches of sand and replace with topsoil and grass to our rough turf which is Turf Type Tall Fescue. This will shrink the green by 4 feet at the widest point in that area. We will do this in two stages so there is access to the green at all times. In the future we will have traffic control in this area all year instead of only in the summer. Part of this will be having cart parking rotated between it's current location next to the stairs and behind the green next to the courtesy cart.

So why the turf loss there? #6 green is in a poor location to grow turf as there is little air movement and insufficient sunlight. For those who have been at Fieldstone a long time, please remember that the trees have grown significantly since the course's inception and are now blocking even more light and air movement as they grow taller.

Another factor, and the one I believe is the main cause of turf loss here is foot traffic. Fieldstone was built to accommodate about half the amount of rounds we now receive. This extra traffic through such a small opening to the green is the leading cause of poor conditions in this particular area.

Besides managing traffic on a year round basis in this area, I will request at least two DryJect application on collars next year (DryJect Blog Post 7.6.12). We have found an amendment to inject called Ecolite (Ecolite) which has been working better for us than the Profile product we used previously. Am also looking to purchase rollers for our mowers that cut the clean-up pass along the edge of the greens. The rollers come in pieces instead of being solid. Here's a picture of a standard roller:

While the mower is turning to cut along the outside edge of the green one side of the roller is moving at a slower speed causing additional stress to the turf. A roller built in three pieces will allow the portion of the roller on the outside to turn at a proper speed. This is in no way a silver bullet but any improvement to keep the turf healthy will show benefits.

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