Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Rough Seeding

It was about a year ago, we re-opened the golf course  after going through a major renovation converting fairways to Santa Anna Hybrid Bermuda, re-surfacing all putting greens and adding a few more, and  re-shaping all of the bunkers. In fact, at this time last year we were still not open to our members and still under construction. And when we did open in early October, we opened to cart path only and a golf course that was in various phases of growing in. 

A big part of the renovation was converting our fairways from cool season turf to warm season Santa Anna Hybrid Bermuda. The rough and new turf around new bunkers remained cool season turf. The primary rough areas were pretty wore out from the construction processes and were in the process of being seeded with Tall Fescue, a durable cool season variety of turf which is the same turf we used around the new bunkers during the renovation.

We had allot of loose ends on many different levels to tie up after the whole renovation process, and re-establishing rough with the aforementioned Tall Fescue was just one of them. Fortunately the cooler weather of fall arrived, and all of the seed we put down germinated and established, but we never had the time to properly prepare the seedbed for wide scale, long lasting success. Never the less, the durability of the Tall Fescue began to establish itself and grass plants from last years seeding are still present today despite another summer of hardship for cool season turf throughout the region. 

Another  reminder is during renovation we chose not to convert our rough to warm season hybrid bermuda like the fairways because hybrid bermuda does not do well in shady conditions. And the trees and associated shade on our Parkland Style Golf Course, hybrid bermuda would not be the right choice of turf in those areas. 

This brings us to today and the seeding once again of our primary rough areas with Tall Fescue. We just took the last two weeks and core aerated all of the primary rough on the golf course in preparation of seeding the rough with more Tall Fescue. This seeding process is starting this week on 9/27/22 and will go through the first week, maybe second week of October. We will update with many specifics the process's we will be undertaking as we proceed, but I wanted to bullet point  some main concepts for us all to understand.

 1. We need to keep the fescue seed out of the fairways.

 2. In order to achieve this we will have to restrict carts to paths only on the holes we are working on which will be more restrictions at any given time then the last two weeks when we were aerating the rough. Cart path only holes will be plainly marked with cart path only signs. 

3. Once we open a newly seeded hole to cart traffic, it will be important to enter and exit holes through the gates and drive carts in the fairway only.

Even though we core aerified all of the rough last week, we plan to hit extremely bare areas in the rough prior to seeding one more time with shallow, solid tine aeration

The TriWave seeder will be just one of the tools we plan to use in the seeding process. Here it is in action in the rough on #1

I'm confident once we get the seed covered with topdressing as well as worked  into the soil with irrigation, the seed will not migrate into the fairways. Keeping rough areas moist while the seed germinates will be another issue we will have to face  as without adequate moisture the seed cannot swell, germinate and establish. 

The timing and our ability to focus on seeding rough aside from normal course setup should elevate our seeding efforts  this year over last. Another reminder however is our renovation converted approximately half of our course to warm season turf that can handle our summers. The other half, the rough, is still cool season turf that will need to survive next summer, and summer is coming. That's why we are promoting Tall Fescue and its's better summer durability and tolerance to other cool season varieties as well as our plan to start adding supplemental irrigation to these rough areas. Our goal is to give us the ability independently irrigate our cool season rough apart from our warm season fairways which should put us in a good spot for all of our turf  to survive summers of the future.

This supplemental irrigation work will not get done over night and establishing our rough to primarily tall fescue will take multiple passes as well. We should however, with our focused seeding efforts this fall  and addition of some supplemental irrigation, be in a better place in fall of 2023.

The Best Is Yet To Come! Thanks for your Support & Patience



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