Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Finally some spring maintenance!

Finally caught a break in the weather and we have been able to perform a lot of our routine spring maintenance tasks. The wet weather that we have experienced the past couple of weeks has really hampered or slowed us down in doing some of these tasks. I thought I would take the time to detail a few of those routine things that we try to do in the spring of the year.

One of the first things that we do in the spring of the year is measure “Growing Degree Days”. We are able to do this with our weather station. GDD are a measure of heat accumulation used by horticulturist to predict plant and pest development rates such as the date that a flower will bloom or a crop reach maturity. For us that crop that we are trying to target is “poa annua” on our fairways. We know at a certain GDD, we are able to apply a growth regulator to stop or slow down the development of that poa plant’s flower. If we can control it, we hopefully can reduce it’s population.

We also use GDD to help us predict when it is time to apply our fertilizer and pre-emergent crabgrass control to our fairways. Here you can see Seth applying it to the fairways with our Lely spreader.

One of the things that I love to do in the spring of the year is verticut or vertical mow the greens. We do this to remove some of the excess of dead leaves that are in the turf canopy. When we verticut, it stands up the turf to cut it off cleanly, this leaves a groove to in the canopy for us to apply sand topdressing and hopefully make a smoother surface. This is also a very good time to apply our spring fertilizer to the putting surfaces.

After a long season of heat last year and a long winter of snow removal we have some areas that need to be fixed up or restored. The sod producers are finally cutting sod in the Des Moines area and we got some of the first cut material in. We are repairing stump holes, snow plow damage and some of last year’s summer stress spots.

Hard to believe we are now into May and there is a prediction for more snow tonight into the weekend. Hopefully this will be short lived and we can still squeak out a good spring golf season.