Fall is the time of the year when we look at doing a lot of small projects that have been put on hold all summer. Don't be surprised if you see sodding jobs being done, tiling projects and some minor tree pruning. We are also mowing down the "no mow" areas right now on both golf courses. This is done for two reasons; the first is to spray the broadleaf weeds in them, the second is that they are a magnet for falling leaves. The taller turf stops leaves from blowing and acts like a snow fence and holding the leaves. By cutting them down it helps us to manage our leaf drop and take care of them.
Speaking of leaf drop there are over 5,000 trees on property at the club. A vast majority of them are deciduous trees, which means they drop their leaves each season. Once they drop we don't pick any of them up. Everything hitting the ground is blown into wind rows then mulched in the roughs. It takes a very diligent crew and some sharp mower blades to stay ahead of it but the efforts are well worth it.
As I mentioned we are spraying broadleaf weeds in our rough areas. This is done using post emergence herbicides. To be effective, most post emergence herbicides must be absorbed through the leaves; consequently, liquid sprays generally work better than dry, granular materials. However for the homeowner, granular formulations may be the most practical way for you to apply these materials. Fall is the safest time of the year to apply these products to your landscapes at home. So if you have a few weeds, now is the time to get them.
We just finished our aerification on the golf course and it went extremely well. For many of you that have sodded yards over clay soils in your home yards, now is the time to aerify your home yard. Get as many cores up as you can tolerate and then let them sit for the winter. If there is a warm dry day, mow the turf a little shorter to break the cores up. I also take the opportunity to apply gypsum at home to help flocculate the soil. It is also a great time of year to apply a good fall fertilizer to get the turf healthy going into winter. Remember we are in a mini drought right now so the turf really needs some good moisture going into winter.
I hope you have some opportunities to get out and enjoy the club yet this fall. There are many great fall days left to play golf and enjoy your facility.
Rick Tegtmeier, CGCS
Director of Grounds
Des Moines Golf & Country Club