"Summers Lease Hath All To Short A Date" William Shakespeare
I'm not sure I agree with Mr. Shakespeare analysis of summer as we try to provide firm and somewhat fast cool season turf grass playing surfaces alive in the Sacramento valley. Nonetheless this past Wednesday June 20, 2012 marked the first day of summer in the northern hemisphere, the longest day of the year and the beginning of the most stressful period for the turf at Granite Bay golf club. This 94 day period until the fall equinox on Saturday September 22, 2012 is when our "hemisphere receives more direct rays from the sun then the southern hemisphere where it is winter. In the winter, the suns energy hits the earth at oblique angles and thus less concentrated. During the spring and fall the earths axis is pointing sideways so both hemispheres have moderate weather as the rays of the sun are directly over the equator." Matt Rosenberg - About.com
As most of us are aware this is the period in which the course is most at risk and can struggle. Our irrigation system improvements over the past couple of years has made a big difference so far. Our hand watering regimen and continued focus on daily irrigation adjustments have paid off as well but the upcoming 94 days will really tell the tale. We have not received too much really hot weather so far and will keep our fingers crossed, light a candle and say a prayer that the summer would be kind and our continued diligence steady.
Summer Putting Surface Aeration / Spiking
This coming Monday June 25, 2012 we will be spiking the greens with 1/4" hollow tines and applying a very light topdressing of sand. The process will have a minimal if any effect on putting quality along with being very short lived. The benefits include removal of an additional 4% of thatch from the putting surfaces along with providing avenues for soil oxygen for plant transpiration or cooling down. Forcasted temperatures are supposed to be mild making this a great opportunity going into summer.
Below is a video entitled Aeration: A breath of fresh air from Pace Turf. The principles and benefits described in the video apply to the aeration / spiking event we have planned for Monday however we do not have an aggressive event planned and it is worth repeating will not effect putting quality for any length of time.