Friday, September 4, 2009

Dog Days of Summer

The results of our battle between too wet and too dry are never more evident then right now at the end of summer. A few weeks ago the gold course got very wet and we justifiably reacted by turning the automatic sprinklers down and off in some cases which resulted in the stressing and thinning of some turf areas throughout the course. Not an altogether unusual set of circumstances for this time of year, yet disconcerting non the less. One of the driving contributing issues we have brought up in the past is the different turf types that populate our fairways.

We have a mixture of bentgrass and ryegrass fairways, both cool season turf species yet with very different irrigation requirements. The bentgrass portions of our fairways are typically the areas that get soft and the ryegrass portions of our fairways are the areas that typically struggle and thin out when it gets hot and an irrigation strategy to accommodate both can be difficult.

Cart traffic damage on stressed cool season turf
Stressed out ryegrass adjacent to happy bentgrass
This week we started interseeding bentgrass into the ryegrass areas of our fairways while the ryegrass is weak and young bent seedlings can compete. This interseeding strategy is very much like our interseeding strategy on the greens in that it will take time but I believe will yield consistent benefits in the both short and long term.

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