Friday, March 17, 2017

Wet Weather and Turfgrass Aerification

Planning GC Maintenance Practices Around Rain

We changed our start date for spring aerification a few years back from early April to late March with the idea that we would be recovered and in good shape earlier in the golf season. The last few years were much drier then this year so the calendar change worked out well. Currently this year is looking like a different story with wet weather forecasted for the upcoming week, Monday 3/20 through Friday 3/24.

As you can see the above forecast from this mornings Accuweather report, we have rain coming on the dates we slated for aerification. Why is this important? Because this kind of work cannot be done when it is raining or even too wet. Trust me we have tried, and we end up making more of a mess and damaging the very turf we are trying to improve with aerification when we try to do it in the rain or overly wet conditions.

We are ready to go and will be watching weather and forecasts closely and if we feel we can proceed with out causing damage we will do so. There has been a slight change in this forecast from yesterday to today calling for less rainfall on Tuesday and more Monday night. Tuesday is when we are scheduled to do greens which are a little more conducive to aerifying when everything else is wet because of their high sand content but it is still iffy with over 1/2" forecasted for Monday evening. It really depends on when that 1/2"+ falls. 

Bottom Line

We are leaning towards postponing all aerification practices until the week of Monday March 27th. If we can get the greens done on Tuesday 3/22/17 as planned we will as we will get another week of recovery which is advantageous to the big picture. If its too wet we will postpone greens until Monday 3/27/17. If it is dry enough we will aerify fairways the following Tuesday 3/28/17 through Thursday 3/30/17 with alternating F9 / B9 closures on those days. If it is too wet to aerify fairways during that time frame we will reevaluate our process and timing.

Winter Wrap Up

Below are current images of where we are at with rainfall totals, CA reservoir levels and snow accumulation. We are in pretty good shape for 2017 so I wont be writing too much about drought, however as I have stated before water and water use are obviously important to golf course turf and will, I believe, the defining issue in CA golf moving forward.

GBGC Rainfall YTD rainfall accumulation from 1/1/2005 through 3/17/17.
Folsom Reservoir, the reservoir that is nearest and dearest to our heart as it supplies all of our irrigation water, has been on a wild up and down path this year. First and foremost it is a flood control reservoir for the American River watershed and it's releases have reflected that purpose.
Best way to store water is in the mountains as snow and thankfully we finally got  some in 2017.
Another thing to be thankful for. The whole state is in good shape this year as far as surface water and snow are concerned however aquifers are still depleted and in a precarious position. We still have work to do with CA water infrastructure.

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