Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Spring Cleaning!

Hello and welcome to The Greenkeeper, today is Wednesday, February 16th. Growing up with my grandparents, I remember each spring we would spend several days taking down, cleaning, and putting away the winter drapes, clean all the windows and open them to air out the house, and wash all the plaster walls and heat registers with soap and water. Granted it might be a little too early for all that, but I think you see where I am going.

Although meteorological spring is still twelve days away, and astronomical spring doesn't arrive until March 20th, this is an ideal time to be getting a head start on spring golf course conditions. Earlier this week we began our annual applications of preemergent herbicide which helps us manage crabgrass and goosegrass across the more than 100 acres of bermudagrass tees, fairways, and rough. 

6.67 Acres at a Time
This is a time consuming process as it requires nearly 16 tanks to cover all the golf course, practice areas, and clubhouse grounds. But after enduring three consecutive years of above average rainfall and soggy winter conditions, it has been refreshing this week to get the sprayer on the course without issue or delay.

We also made spot applications of a post-emergent herbicide for annual bluegrass (poa annua) a couple weeks back to cleanup what little breakthrough from our fall preemergent applications occurred. Overall, I have been quite pleased with the cleanliness and presentation of the golf course surfaces this off-season.

Mowing of our native/natural areas is also underway! Each year we mow the old seed stalks and remove the clippings to clean up the areas and prepare them for preemergent applications. Our herbicide combo used in the natural/native areas is targeted against crabgrass and several species of broadleaf weeds. This will be applied once the mowing is complete in the coming weeks.

Super 600
And lastly, we are installing a plastic barrier adjacent to the newly refurbished sections of cart path in an attempt to prevent future damage from tree roots. You may recall last summer the intruding roots under the damaged sections of path were removed. We are using a trencher to cut about 18 inches deep adjacent to the path. This severs any lingering roots, then the plastic liner is installed vertically in the trench nearest the path, and backfilled. In the future as the tree roots begin to regrow, the liner will force them deeper preventing the heaving of asphalt which created the previous undesirable bumpy conditions.

A quick reminder that greens aerification is now less than three weeks away (March 7 and 8). We will once again perform a solid, deep-tine operation ahead of the core aerification and topdressing. We have adjusted our hollow-core tine size this spring, so hopefully the smaller holes will not linger too long. Spring aerification is always tricky because the grass will not grow until the climatic conditions are optimal, however when the weather warms you want to play so we are always striving to find the right balance and compromise. 

See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton, CGCS, MG 

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