‘Catkins’: ‘Birds and Bees’ of the Course | TheUnion.com

‘Catkins’: ‘Birds and Bees’ of the Course

William F Hamilton, CGCS
Director of Agronomy

May 16, 2019

Here’s your new Scrabble word: “catkins”. Those are the billions of two inch long, stringy, blond strands that have been falling from the live oak trees for the last month.

They are the male pollen grains looking for a female flower match. Ultimately, the net result will be next fall’s acorns. Hoping that the recent rainy spell will bring this reproductive process to a timely end. This has been a long and nasty pollen, and mosquito season. Onward we trudge.

The greens surround project is completed and the sod needs a bit of sand for leveling and some fertilizer for maturing. The cart path project is completed and the edges need to be backfilled to established grade. We’re using the spoils from project one to complete project number two. The golf course has been fertilized and the density is improving.

Based upon commentary, the density is a little too much improved in the roughs. The recent rainfall should intensify growth and color. The immediate challenge will be keeping up with the mowing. Looking forward to the remainder of spring and all the tournaments soon to come.

May 23, 2019

I think you’ll agree that receiving almost four inches of rainfall in late May is beyond the norm. We’ve achieved saturated soil conditions once again and that’s required the old red flag to come out of the closet.

For the most part, the golf course is “accessible” thanks to our twice yearly aerification program. It’s the specific problem areas that are known to stay soaked and take some time to dry out enough to drive across without making muddy ruts. It would take forever to put up traffic control ropes and stakes for a condition that will soon be alleviated with dry weather. Provided the typical dry California weather that we enjoy does indeed show up. It has been an interesting weather span this year and makes one wonder what the summer and fall will bring. The late season rainfall has provided a bountiful crop of vegetation, both wanted and unwanted.

Just when you thought you had all the weed-eating done here comes a bright green regrowth to be dealt with again.

On the bright side, just think of all the irrigation water you’ve saved and how good the lawns look. But then, there’s all the extra mowing that needs to happen to keep up with this flush of growth. Especially if you’ve applied some fertilizer lately. It’s very hard to time and predict Mother Nature based upon history because it’s constantly changing. Thank goodness we don’t have to deal with the brunt of these recent storms like the residents of midwest America. Not to worry though. Soon enough we’ll be grousing about how hot it is.


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