Monthly update March 2021

The monthly update is a place I will share agronomy related updates for the 2021 golf season.  Thank you to everyone that watched my Maintenance Monday videos throughout the off-season.  Also, I love when people ask about agronomy, so please send comments, questions, or ideas to the blog or Facebook/Twitter pages.  

Quick work and the bunkers on #5 were ready for play this spring 

It is easy to forget the ice storm when you start off the spring with such great weather. But it was a tough start to 2021.  The damage was extensive and required quickly mobilizing our team and renting equipment to begin cleanup.   With the extra labor, rental, equipment, and emergency repair to the power lines at the Pro Shop, the Ice Storm cost our operation over $12,000 in unexpected costs.  

Here's a few pictures of the course the days after the ice storm.

Cleanup detail continued as we opened the golf course on March 4th.  The work will continue throughout the summer as we remove trees that are so heavily damaged that they cannot be salvaged.  Additionally, it is still too early to tell how many branches sustained damage from bending, but not breaking.  There's a chance some of these damaged branches will struggle as heat and stress increase during the summer.  We will monitor and continue to prune broken and damaged limbs throughout the summer.  It is going to be a long process. 

Other agronomy notes for this month:

Our summer annual (i.e. crabgrass) pre-emergent application was completed last week.  This is a little earlier than usual, but this type of application offers a bigger window than most.  The product we chose for our roughs requires the application to be down before crabgrass can germinate.  We watch soil temps closely throughout the spring and time the application when the soil temp is still in the 40's.  Once down the product can give 4-6 months control depending on the rate of application. 

We are also watching temperature to time our growth regulator applications.  Our primary goal for this application is to reduce Poa annua seed heads.  Reducing seed heads providers a better playing surface in late spring when Poa produces heavy seeds, which creates bumpy and uneven putting greens.  It also is a long-term strategy to keep total Poa percentage under control.  By reducing seed heads, we reduce total seeds that enter the soil.  With less seeds in the soil, we hope to keep our Poa at or below current levels.  We must also practice the best cultural, fertility, and watering practices throughout the growing season to encourage our Bentgrass to remain healthy.  I will discuss all of these practices throughout the year via the blog and monthly update.

Thanks for reading,

Travis Williams, CGCS

Asst Athletic Director: Golf and Agronomy



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