Tuesday, May 6, 2014

April Showers

The old saying, "April showers bring May flowers" has so far been the story of this spring. This April at Ridgeway we received almost 10" of rainfall along with 4" of snow. The course is still wet and needs some time dry out. Some warm temperatures and sun would be much appreciated.

The last blog post talked about some potential winterkill issues with some colder nights in mid-April. The good news is we had no signs of any issues as a result of that cold stretch. The turf overall is in great shape for this time of year and has only minor damage coming out of winter. #9 and #17 greens have a few areas of minor winterkill that should not impact play and with warm weather should be back to full strength. Also some small fairway low areas have some winterkill but already appear to be healing in nicely. Warmer temperatures will be our greatest asset to getting these areas to recover.

Spring is an important time to prepare the golf course for the peak season ahead. We use this time to lay the foundation of what will be a great season. Aeration and topdressing are two processes that we utilize this time of year to prepare the course for the rigors of summertime.  One step in that summertime preparation is deep-needle tining or more commonly referred too as forking . We like to fork greens several times a season. This process is minimally invasive and has almost zero impact on the playability of the golf course. Forking is great for improving soil oxygen, roots, water infiltration and helps relieve compaction. Since we started forking greens 4-6 times a year, our greens health has improved greatly, not to mention our bentgrass populations have skyrocketed. Like I said earlier, the majority of our aeration and topdressing this spring will have very little impact on play but will have a large impact come summer in terms of healthy turf and smooth playing surfaces.

The month of May will be a busy month for the greens and grounds’ considering it was very wet in April. Here are a few items we will working on:

·         Building and installing new landscape beds between 1 tee/ 18 green.

·         Drainage in front of #14 tee.

·         Spray for broadleaf weeds.

·         Spray pre-emergent herbicide on fairways.

·         Repair and seed walks.

·         Topdressing of tees, greens and approaches.

·         Fix and repair the end of cart paths with crushed asphalt.

·         Prune trees with deadwood and overhanging branches.

·         Irrigation repair and maintenance.

·         Keep up with mowing the course which is difficult at this time of year because of how fast grass tends to grow with warm temperatures and soil that is moist.

That's a lot on our plate and is only a portion of what we need to accomplish in such a short time. We hope the weather is friendlier for accomplishing the work that we need to get done. With how well the course came out of winter and some elbow grease in the next month, 2014 looks to be a great year!