Spring Turf Update
02 APR 2020
It has been a great start for the golf course regardless of these trying times. Our courses wintered extremely well, and we are ahead of last year with regard to soil and ambient temperatures. The two-week forecast calls for many days above 10°c, although many are in the 7°c and 8°c range.
It is very important that we care for our short grass areas (greens, tees and fairways) in an extremely gentle way. We only walk-mow many greens. These are our first cuts for 2020. Once the soil profile firms up, we can bring our riding mowers out to cut. It is very important that we make every effort to keep any and all foot traffic off of our short grass playing surfaces. The grass plants are so fragile that both thinning and bruising will have a huge negative impact long term. The minimal ground frost that we had this year has melted and when this happens, the soils take in a considerable amount of oxygen. The soils in many areas will ‘puff’ up and heave. This is very beneficial to our root systems for long term health during the dry months. Negatively, any traffic on these areas causes compaction of the soil system and recovery sometimes does not happen until a core aeration event or the following year's frost heave. Many of the sheltered greens green-up and grow a bit quicker than other exposed greens due to soil temperatures being three to four degrees higher. The cool winds also cause desiccation (moisture being pulled from the soils and turfgrass plants) which also keeps our exposed greens a week or so ‘behind’ sheltered ones.
I have seen many walkers out enjoying the course over the last few weeks and a few that have had clubs out there also. Please remember that the property is closed for our and your safety and also the safety of our millions and millions of grass plants!
On another note, it is that time of year (we look for consistent daytime temperatures above 10°c) to begin your yard and garden cleanup. Raking of your lawns from any rodent damage, snow mold or debris is encouraged. An overseed and triple mix topdress are also good to do. Tilling of gardens to allow moisture and air into the profiles is good and it also relieves compaction. All this also helps with any undue annual weed germination.
Please stay safe and I will see you all very soon!
Golf Course Superintendent