Monday, February 27, 2012

More Tree Stuff, Lawn Care Tips and Vegas!

Hello and welcome to "The Greenkeeper"!  Today is February 27, 2012 and if you are here then either you were paying attention yesterday when I said check back or you found your way here by accident.  In the case of the latter, you may want to scroll down and read yesterday's post first (Trees, Cart Paths, Weed Control and New Greens Committee!) in order to better understand the context of today's post!  Either way, I am glad you are here!

I received several questions yesterday regarding the size and species of the trees we planted.  We planted a variety of oaks (White, Red, Schumard and Chestnut) as well as a few Red and Sugar maples.  The trees ranged in caliper size from 3.5 inches up to 6 inches with root balls 54 inches in size!  We also planted two larger oaks (8 inches in caliper size) with root balls measuring 80 inches!

General Manager Roger Wolfe is the perfect frame of reference with the two largest oaks!

The Telehandler transports the tree with ease!

Easing it into place under a watchful eye!

The large Schumard oak was planted along the left side of the tenth fairway directly replacing the large tulip poplar we lost last April (uprooted during severe storm).  The large Chestnut oak was planted to the right of the thirteenth fairway as a replacement for the large American beech which unfortunately did not survive the reconstruction of the golf course!

Yesterday I promised you some home lawn care tips.  I have always tried to answer any questions and give advice when solicited for my opinion but I thought today I would share some ideas that would be beneficial to all you DIY'ers (including yours truly).  The information below was reprinted with my permission...

Now is an excellent time to kill any winter annual weeds lingering in your lawn.  Winter annuals germinate in late fall and establish themselves rather quietly over the winter.  The most prevalent weed pressure right now is from henbit, chickweed, mouse-ear chickweed and common groundsel or ragwort.  The henbit can be recognized by a tall stem when rolled between your finger and thumb feels square in shape.  Chickweed and mouse-ear chickweed are low growing, compact winter annuals.  The mouse-ear variety has hairy leaves opposed to the larger common variety.  Common groundsel or ragwort is characterized by its tiny yellow flowers sitting atop a very upright, leafy stalk.  In the spring they will compete against your lawn for water and nutrients and then flower and produce seed before dying at the onset of hot weather.  If you have a bermudagrass lawn you can use RoundUp (glyphosate) to treat for winter weeds (carefully follow label directions for applications to dormant turf).  If your lawn is tall fescue you will need to use a product that kills weeds but is safe on desirable grass.  Ortho and Bayer Environmental Science both produce similar products that will get the job done.   

One thing I noticed this weekend while in my local home improvement store is both companies now market these products with the claim of controlling crabgrass.  Crabgrass is a summer annual grassy weed.  It germinates in the spring and competes against your lawn turf all summer before producing seed and dying at the onset of frost in the fall.  Neither of these products will have any effect on crabgrass now because no crabgrass is actively growing.  The products are a combination of three chemical compounds (2, 4-D, Dicamba and Quinclorac).  The 2, 4-D and Dicamba are chemicals that have been used for broadleaf weed control for years.  The Quinclorac component is a newer compound developed to kill crabgrass after it germinates.     

I wanted you to understand if you use either of these products now thinking you will not have any crabgrass in your lawn later this year you will be sadly mistaken.  You will still need to treat your lawn relatively soon with either a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent crabgrass from germinating or retreat with the same product later in the season when the crabgrass emerges.  Quinclorac works best on small, juvenile crabgrass plants.  It is important to also understand any product that prevents the germination and emergence of crabgrass will also prevent any desirable grass seed from doing the same.  Therefore, if you have areas in your lawn in need of reseeding this spring, you will not be able to treat those areas with a product marketed for crabgrass prevention.  I know, all this information seems a little overwhelming and is making you think twice about throwing away the flyer Chemlawn left on your mailbox last week.  The important thing is to take your time.  Ask questions when at your local home improvement store and you’re always welcome to send those questions to me if you wish.

I hope that helps!  Now I must wrap things up and finish tying up all loose ends because I am leaving tomorrow to attend the 2012 GCSAA Education Conference and Golf Industry Show in Las Vegas.  I will be attending accredited seminars and lectures on a variety of topics as well as viewing the largest collection of golf course maintenance needs on display at the GIS.  It was originally my intention to blog daily about the GIS but it is my understanding the Las Vegas Convention Visitors Bureau has a strict policy prohibiting the dissemination of information about the goings on in their city...something about what happens there stays...I don't know.  Anyway, I will be back next week!  Until then...

See you on the week

"Did I remember to enable the automated out-of-office reply on my email?"  "Come Solomon, Daddy needs to turn off the lights."

Matthew Wharton
Golf Course Superintendent

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