Friday, July 30, 2010

Heat and Humidity

The heat and humidity continue to make their presence felt here in the Kansas City area. The turf grass has been under a tremendous amount of stress with the heat and down pours of rain that have been happening. These two together are not a good combination like I have talked about before. Earlier this week we found a plugged up drain line on #2 green. This means that that part of the green wasn't able to drain and the roots were sitting in over-saturated soils and boiling itself. We have since trenched in a new drain line and the water just came flowing out of the green. This should hopefully help that green a bunch and help it to stay dry and healthier. We are continuing to see improvement in greens #2, 10, 15, and 6. Once they dry out and the temperatures are high it is a long and slow process to get them back. I told everyone that I was wanting to keep them dry and that is still the case as wet over-saturated soils can cause death this time of year by choking out the turf and not allowing oxygen to get to it's roots. I know some players have expressed concern for #2 and 10 but I assure you everything is going fine and we are giving them some TLC and look for them to continue to improve. We will be continuing to sod some of the stressed out areas in the collars as weather conditions and play allow us too. We have started already and I am planning to continue on #2,6, and 10. The fairways continue to amaze me with how fast they are continuing to grow. We seem to not be able to stay in front of them. They are thick and lush and look great this year which is a little different then in the last two years when the temperatures weren't as warm. Hope everyone has a great weekend. I will try and upload some pictures of the plugged drain line on #2 when I can get my camera to cooperate.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Short Break In The Weather

We are currently in a two day break from the extremely hot and humid conditions we have been dealing with. Unfortunately this isn't going to be around very long as temperatures are going to once again rise up into the upper 90's and humidity levels are going to soar. Although at this point in the summer I will take whatever I can get. A few people have asked me about the conditions on the greens and all the off color spots that are on them. We are currently trying to keep the greens as dry as possible to allow them to breathe and keep the disease away from them. Saturated soils don't allow the plants to breathe and in this heat can cook the roots of the plants and choke it out and wet soils are a breeding ground for diseases. The spots on the greens are localized dry spots and have come to the surface due to the fact that they dried out at some point. This is not a bad thing although it is aesthetically unpleasant the turf is in a healthy but stressed out state. We will give them some TLC and they will heal back over time and when the temperatures relax. This summer has been a very unusual summer and it has really tested our patience and our grass growing abilities. The collars on #2 and 10 continue to struggle a little bit in the areas where the moisture runs off the greens and sits against the moisture barriers that I mentioned several weeks ago. These areas will eventually heal or if they continue to struggle we may look into some isolated sodding. The good news is the zoysia grass fairways are the healthiest that I have ever seen them here at Creekmoor. They are just loving life right now and are getting everything they need warm and humid conditions. The rough is really holding it's own as well. It continues to grow and stay healthy. There might be a few areas where Brown Patch is present, but this disease is every where right now especially with the prime weather conditions we have been having. I hope everyone has a great week!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer Stress Continues

The summer temperatures and humidity have continued to make their presence felt here in the Kansas City area. It has been a huge challenge for my staff and I to try and alleviate as much stress on the turf as possible. The golf course has been holding up relatively well with all things considered. It is really important to watch your water management this time of year especially in these conditions. It is better to error on the dry side then to have things overly wet. Wet conditions encourage disease and insects to harm the turf, which puts the turf in a weakened state and then the grass can't survive the extreme weather. I have had a few people ask me about the small spots on the greens. These are called isolated hot spots and are a sign that that area of the green is drying out. It also tells me that I have the greens at a dry level and that I shouldn't have a lot of problems with disease although stranger things have happened. Hot spots recover with a little hand watering, disease spots do not so it is better to have hot spots then wet soggy conditions. I am aware of the spotting and my staff is monitoring these on a daily basis. These areas will recover over time and with cooler weather. We are starting to repair some of the collar areas on #2,6, and 7 greens. We should have these areas repaired by the end of the week. It is a little dicey this time of year to be sodding and I wouldn't encourage it to be done unless you have the capabilities to babysit it and keep it moist. Since it is around our greens areas and we are babysitting them anyway I thought what the heck we can get these done and out of the way. The tees are continuing to heal from the verticutt that we did to them a week ago. They are healing a little slower this time due to the extreme heat and humidity, but they are healing and with a little break in the weather should be back to 100% or close to by next week. I hope everyone has a great week and is able to stay cool!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Temperature and Humidity Continue to Rise

Over the last week the temperature and humidity have decided they both want to be on the higher end at the same time. These conditions have made us here at Creekmoor be on our toes. The grass has been spoiled by receiving timely rains and the root structures haven't had to reach and grow down into the soil. So now that the heat is on the turf is really having to work and stay cool thus providing us a challenge in keeping it moist and not over watering causing disease outbreaks. This time of year it is a very fine line and you really have to pay attention to the amount of water you are putting down or you could get yourself into some issues. We finally finished our grub application today, so if you haven't done so yet make sure to get it down on your lawns and watered in as soon as you can. My staff was able to get the fairways, greens, tees, step cut, and rough mowed today. The grass should start to really slow down it's growing pattern with the warmer temperatures over the next couple of days. I hope everyone has a great weekend and stay cool.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Wow What A Sunday Storm

"Mother Nature" struck again on Sunday morning and throughout the day. We were directly in the path of a pretty intense rain storm that was comprised of three waves. The first wave dumped 1.10" of rain in 15 minutes and after that I knew we were in store for a heck of a day. We ended up getting around 3.5" total for the day. Needless to say the golf course is extremely wet and the bunkers suffered pretty extensive wash outs. We are going to be working on these bunkers today and hopefully will be able to get the front nine done or real close by the end of the day. We are unable to do any mowing and the rough has really surged over the last couple of days due to the rain and cooler temperatures. We will hopefully be able to start mowing later tomorrow or on Wednesday. The positive that came out of this all is that we didn't suffer any tree damage from the storms like a lot of folks did around us. The weather looks like it is going to start to warm up again and this is the perfect set up for disease and drought stress to occur in the turf. Weeks like this are what we work for all year. Hopefully the course can dry out before any damage occurs from the wet,hot,and humid conditions.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Watering Practices and Course Update

I have been asked by several home owners over the last week or so how they should be watering their lawns. As the price of water is going up and the availability of water is going down I thought it might be a good idea to try and help everyone out a little bit with what I consider my own opinion the best watering practices. You have probably heard people say that deep and infrequent is the way to water. This is very true and really starts to show up this time of year. In my opinion homeowners should not be watering their yard anymore then three times a week during the extreme heat and then during the cooler periods to back that down to once or twice a week depending on weather conditions. The key is too run your sprinklers for longer periods of time less days during the week. I would suggest running your big rotor heads around 20-30 minutes each time and your mist heads around 10-15 minutes. The mist heads put down a lot more water at one time so it is important to back those down or you will be putting too much water down. You can then decide how many days to run your system depending on the weather. But like I said I would suggest to limit it too 2-3 days a week. This will help your turfgrass establish roots and will help it withstand the warmer temperatures along with helping you cut down on disease pressure and your water bill. One other way you can save water is to put your systems in rain shutdown when it rains. You don't know how many times I am driving around the golf course right after or during a rain and I see homeowners lawns still watering. This week has been a great week here at Creekmoor. We have been able to get a lot accomplished and got somewhat caught up after the heat. These rains we got were much needed and helped the golf course recover a little bit after the warm temperatures. Yesterday we verticutt the greens and today we did the tees. We are trying to help eliminate the puffiness and help improve our water infiltration rates along with helping the turf to breathe. We also were able to get back onto our normal mowing schedule somewhat. We also applied a fungicide to greens and tees today to help prevent disease from forming during the warmer stretch of weather that is ahead. After the little rains we had this week the turf may surge a little bit over the weekend so we will be busy next week getting caught back up. It looks like the temperatures are forecasted next week to once again start to rise into the mid to upper 90's. I am going to keep my fingers crossed that the humidity stays so that everything doesn't dry out as fast. I hope everyone has a great weekend.

My assistant Juan on the verticutter on #5 tees

#2 tee after verticutter went over it

Thatch accumulation on tees after we verticutt

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Much Needed Rain

I hope everyone had a good and safe Fourth of July holiday even though it was wet. The rain over the holiday was bad for the fireworks, but was much needed for the golf course. The turfgrass was starting to dry out pretty good and we were really having to work to keep moisture in the ground. This rain should help some of our stressed out areas tremendously. As I am writing this blog entry it is raining again. My crew is out on the golf course under cover waiting on the rain to subside so we can finish prepping the golf course for the KC Ladies Pub Links tournament. These rains over the last couple of days have been steady and slow for the most part which has been great. They haven't caused a lot of wash outs in the bunkers or along our cart paths. The good soaking rains are what you want to see. We finished aerifying the fairways on Friday. It was perfect timing to get them finished up ahead of the rain. We are planning to get back on our mowing schedule once the weather and ground dry out. It might be a challenge this week as the forecast is calling for rain chances most of the week. We will just have to wait and see what curve balls are thrown our way. Hopefully this week we will also be able to start spraying clover in the roughs and maybe even start our annual spraying in the native grass areas for broad leaf weeds. Hope everyone has a great week. I will keep you up to date as the week progresses.