Friday, July 7, 2023

Fairway Aeration & Seed Head

Our fairway turf conversion in 2021 from cool season turf to warm season hybrid bermuda included the choice of  Santa Anna Hybrid Bermuda as our warm season turf choice. If you recall, we chose Santa Anna because it held onto its color longer and came out of winter dormancy sooner then any of the other hybrids we were sampling. One of the knocks on Santa Anna though is its propensity to to produce seed head and the seed heads associated stalks. 

We can mitigate this seed head production with growth regulators, and were successful through June in doing so and honestly thought the applications we made were going to suffice all season. However we learned quickly it is a futile task  attempting to out smart nature, and almost overnight our fairways exploded with seed head. We all need to be reminded on occasion that the field that we play the game that we love on, is a living breathing complex organism that will do what it does despite our efforts at times and you just cant fool mother nature. 

The seed head  of hybrid bermuda is sterile. It wont even germinate or make another plant, its just unsightly, especially from afar. When your standing over the top of it the tan coloration is not that evident but from afar the fairways as a whole take on a tannish hue.  We have treated it with another application of growth regulator which will help mitigate the appearance in a short period of time we hope. Scheduled core aeration and sand topdressing will help as well.

From afar the hue of the accumulated seed head seems tan or yellow in color and looks like there is something wrong or the fairways are stressed out.

But when you are standing over your ball you see healthy turf and a pretty good lie in most instances.

Laying down you can really see up close what is going on. Some of the seed stalks, which are tan or yellow in color, are sticking up but many are lying down, and the accumulation of these are what gives us the overall tan appearance from afar. Pesky seed heads!

2023 Summer Fairway Aeration

Our scheduled fairway aeration is coming up in mid July. The golf course will never be completely closed as we will only work on nine holes at a time so there will always be nine holes available to our Members. Our plan this summer is to core aerate, drag the cores, mow then sand topdress, then drag the sand topdressing in. I'll provide plenty of pictures of the process when we get started. Below is a schedule of the work and associated closures.

Tuesday 7/18/23 - Thursday 7/20/23 B9 Closed for Aeration. F9 Open
Monday  7/24/23 - Wednesday 7/26/23 F9 Closed for Aeration. B9 Open

This is us aerifying #6 fairway in April of this year. We utilized solid tines that application. We will be pulling cores this coming application.

Swan Update

Nature is exacting and it was stated in a previously  linked bird fact article on swans "around 50% of cygnets fail to survive longer then 2 to 3 months." So far that statement is true for our new family of cygnets, as we started with six and now have three. 

Recent photo of the abbreviated family near ladies tee on #1.

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