As you are mowing your yard this fall try to remember these tips before you park your mower for the winter:
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Just a little information for your lawn as we head into winter. If you haven't already seeded those bare or thin spots in your yard you may want to think about getting it out a soon as possible before your window of opportunity runs out. Also this time of the year is great to fertilize your yard as it prepares for the winter.
Friday, September 5, 2014
If you have been out to Minor Park lately you will notice some skunk damage throughout the course. Skunks come out at night and feed on the white grubs that are in the soil in these spots. To help eliminate these spots we go out with an granular insecticide called Dylox. What this products does is eliminate the grubs in which the skunks feed upon. These spots get beat up twice: the grubs eat the roots of the grass plant then the skunks come in and tear up the turf to feed on the grubs.
Saturday, August 16, 2014
With the timely rains we have had this year at Minor Park the golf course is looking the best that I have seen for the middle of August. Here at Minor Park we were fortunate to be able to purchase 2 moisture meters to help measure moisture levels on greens. Especially this year, this has helped to know where we need to put water and also when we need to start irrigation after a rain event. Here is a picture and a brief description of what this equipment allows us to accomplish:
Spectrum Moisture Meter
These meters allow the user to probe greens and get a base reading of moisture in greens. After getting this initial reading this can be used in the morning and afternoon to test greens and see where we are on moisture and if they will last for the remainder of the day. For the greens at Minor Park we like to have ours between 15-18%. Anything below 15% will typical becomes a localized dry spot.
Venting of Greens
Another cultural practice we are able to do is vent greens. We are able to get out once a month in the summer with star tines and poke tiny holes into the green to allow gasses to escape. As the weather heats up and turf growth continues, destructive gasses such as methane and CO2 can build up in the root zone. Couple that with the excessively wet weather and you have a recipe for sick turf. This is the ideal time of year to vent greens. Venting allows bad gasses to escape and oxygen to penetrate the root zone. It also improves drainage and penetration of water. By reducing water, increasing oxygen, and allowing bad gasses to escape the soil microbes become more active, roots thrive, and overall plant health improves. The turf is now much stronger to heal traffic damage and fend off disease pressure. All without golfer interference!
Sunday, July 6, 2014
Hopefully everyone is enjoying a great Fourth of July weekend. Just wanted to give a quick update on course conditions as we begin moving into the dog days of summer. If you have had a chance to come out you will notice that greens tees and fairways are in great shape. With timely rains and not long stretches of heat we have been able to keep course conditions in ideal playing conditions. This month we sodded out winterkill we had on 7 tee and we are in the process of mowing it down to height and will be opening the tee real soon. Last month we finished our driving range project and everyone I've talked to loves the improvements. I hope everyone is enjoying Minor Park Golf Course and hopefully I will see you on the course!
Winter Kill #7 Tee
Resodded #7 Tee
17 green and Fairway
Friday, June 6, 2014
In the last couple months at Minor Park, we completed the renovation of our Driving Range to help improve the look of the tee. Come out and enjoy the new tee line!
Below are some pictures of what was completed:
Below are some pictures of what was completed:
After stripping off small amount of existing grass
New walkway form
New paver walkway form behind tee
Installation of pavers from old tee complexes
600 yards of tall fescue being installed
Final completion of turf and red paver walkway
Old synthetic turf removed
Finished project with new synthetic turf, tall fescue and red paver walkway
Friday, April 11, 2014
This year we top-dressed first then aerified.
We have completed our spring aerification on Monday! Greens are playing very well 4 days from completion. we were able to roll 3 times and mowed for the first time today. This bi-annual practice helps ‘open up’ the putting surfaces so we can ensure a healthy root system by reducing the compaction brought on by heavy foot traffic and daily mowing. Here’s more…
Sometimes it’s good to ventPresented by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America
It’s a perfect, sunny morning and you’ve just reached the first green in regulation. You feel great and you know you’re within birdie range. Then, you see them, those little holes in the green. Arrggh! They’ve just aerified the course, and it’s going to ruin your round, right?
Well, maybe not. Consider the fact that PGA TOUR legend Tom Watson shot a sizzling record 58 at his then-home course, Kansas City Country Club, just days after the greens had been aerified.
Consider also that aerification is merely a short-term disruption that has long-term benefits for the course. When you see them, remember that without those little holes, the greens would eventually die.
Preventative maintenance is an integral part of successful golf course management. Golfers view aerification as an inconvenience that takes the greens out of play for a day, pulling cores from the greens and leaving holes that can affect putting for many days before healing. To add insult to injury, aerification is best done in many parts of the country during mid-summer, at the height of the playing season and when most greens are in prime condition.
But a golfer needs to understand how important aerification is to producing healthy turf.
Aerification achieves three important objectives. It relieves soil compaction, it provides a method to improve the soil mixture around the highest part of a green’s roots and it reduces or prevents the accumulation of excess thatch.
Like so many things, the quality of a good putting green is more than skin deep. In fact, the condition of a green has a lot to do with what goes on below the surface. In order for grass to grow at 3/16-inch, it must have deep, healthy roots. Good roots demand oxygen. In good soil, they get the oxygen from tiny pockets of air trapped between soil and sand particles.
Over time, the traffic from golfers’ feet (as well as mowing equipment) tends to compact the soil under the putting green – particularly when the soil contains a lot of clay. When soil becomes compacted, the air pockets on which the roots depend are crushed, and the roots are essentially left gasping for air. Without oxygen, the grass plants become weaker and will eventually wither and die.
Aerification is a mechanical process that creates more air space in the soil and promotes deeper rooting, thus helping the grass plants stay healthy. In most cases, it’s done by removing ½-inch cores (those plugs you sometimes see near a green or in fairways) from the compacted soil, allowing for an infusion of air and water that brings a resurgence of growth. The spaces are then filled with sand “topdressing” that helps the soil retain air space and makes it easier for roots to grow downward.
Older greens often are constructed of soils with significant amounts of silt, clay and fine organic particles that are prone to compaction. Filling aerification holes with sand improves drainage and resists compaction. The periodic introduction of sand to a green’s top layer can over time, avoid or postpone expensive rebuilding or renovation of greens.
Finally, growing of turf adds to a layer of organic matter on the surface. This layer, called thatch, is an accumulation of dead stems, leaves and roots. A little organic matters makes for a resilient green, but too much invites diseases and insects. Topdressing with sand can prevent thatch buildup, and aerification is one of the best ways to reduce an existing layer and prevent an excess of thatch from becoming established.
Other aerification techniques use machines with “tines” or knives that simply poke holes through the soil profile. A new technique even uses ultra high-pressure water that’s injected through the soil profile to create small holes that relieve some compaction but heal quickly.
There are many types of aerifying machines with different attachments that address different problems in the various stages of the life of a green. So the next time you’re ready to scream when the aerifiers are brought on the course, remember that a little preventative maintenance produces the best greens over the long haul.
The bottom line is that aerification is a necessary practice. But before you curse the superintendent for ruining your day, just think of Tom Watson.
For more information regarding golf course management practices, contact your local superintendent or the GCSAA at 800-472-7878 or www.gcsaa.org.
Sources: USGA’s Green Section
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