Friday, July 26, 2019

Dealing with Summer Stress

Turf decline during the summer months usually is a combination of many factors. Here at PDS our turf issues usually revolve around mechanical stress(frequent mowing and cart traffic) during prolonged periods of high temperatures(not enjoyed by cool season turf), and disease from high humidity after heavy rainfall during the monsoon season. Some of the practices we do before and during this time to try and stay ahead of the game are:    hand watering and syringing, needle tine venting of greens, solid tine aeration of hard compacted areas in fairways, spoon feeding nutrients, applying preventative fungicides, spraying wetting agents/penetrants to needed areas and alternating between rolling and mowing greens during high stress periods.

Needle tine venting..... it's all about the root zone

This process creates a small hole in the green surface without removing any material. A relatively painless process that helps relieve compaction and more importantly increasing oxygen content in the soil for better root and soil health and displacing harmful excess build up of CO2(carbon dioxide). 
We alternate every 2-3 weeks during the summer stress periods with either a 5 or 8 mm tine at a depth of 3" on a 2" x 2" grid.

June 26th......needle tine greens with 5mm tines
5mm tines on a 2x2 grid at a 3" depth
Double roll following
ready for play
July 16..... needle tine greens with 8mm tines

8mm tines on a 2x2 grid at a depth of 3"
ready for play after a roll and mow

Summer stress and the Poa(annual blugrass)

The poa in our fairways usually starts to check out once we start getting extended periods of tempertatures around 90F and soil temperatures in the 70 -77F range.... and then you factor in the high humidity during the monsoon and our cool season turf is NOT very happy. Cool-season turfgrasses optimum growth level is at temperatures between 60 and 75°F . So when we get these extended periods of heat the already weakened plants will be extremely susceptible to damage from pressures such as heat, drought, traffic, disease, and insects. I'm sure many of you have noticed these areas in our fairways. In these areas we will continue doing a few different things. We will continue syringing these areas in the mornings and afternoons to help keep the canopy cool. We will also aerify with solid tines to increase oxygen levels in the soil and help with water penetration. We have also started to slit-seed the really bad areas in the fairways to try and establish some new growth during the monsoon. 

Slit seeding  #1 fairway
Slit seeding two directions #1 fairway
Slit seeding second half #15 fairway
Slit seeded/Top-dressed area front of approach #9

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