In Like a Lion…Out like it Never Left!
March 15, 2018
March Madness is upon us, as it’s raining almost every day. Right now we have accumulated about 32 inches of rain for the season, with our local average being around 40 inches — enough to keep the drought conversation subdued and enough to keep the golf games subdued as well. It’s tough to get any work or play done when conditions are completely saturated again. I think that you’ll find the spring season officially starting up next week, with all the daffodils blooming, trees leafing out and the grasses will go crazy.
Besides keeping the turf at bay, we will begin our aerification season. Over the next couple of weeks, you’ll find us core aerating the tee boxes. This is a project that can be done while play is in session. We will shuffle the tee markers around so that you can play, and we can get the tees done on an “as able to” basis.
Also, if it ever stops raining, we’ll be making applications of crabgrass preventer to the fairways. This is something that has to be done in the next thirty days. The preventer keeps the tiny crabgrass seeds from germinating. If they germinate and get growing, it turns into a real problem for the rest of the season. Remember, too, we are less than four weeks away from the spring closure dates, April 10–12. Lots of things to do in a short period of time. Pray for dryness.
March 29, 2018
This month of March is in true form as it is actually going out “like a lamb”. If only we could have more of this kind of weather. But then I guess we’d be in San Diego. Typically around the first of April the frosts will cease and you can plant your tomatoes. No more ice means that the nights have warmed up and the grass goes into turbo mode. The first priority is to keep up with that growth spurt so you don’t lose your golf cart in the rough. The rains have now subsided and there may only be a few more of minimal strength before the summer dry spell. I have found it best to have control over the water before applying fertilizers. Making a premature dose of nutrient in front of late rains will result in “baling hay”. Spring of the year is definitely the sweet spot for growth and that is why we get the golf course and parks aerification done during this time window. Getting the coring and cultivation done now offers the greatest potential for regrowth and recuperation. As with all active sports turfs, alleviating compaction is essential for good, sustainable, season-long growth. You didn’t see all the work that went into the baseball diamonds in the previous weeks prior to opening day, but their groundskeepers were doing the same thing that we’ll do here in April. I get it that “things are looking so good right now”, but it is what we do now that prepares us for the future. The short term anguish experienced now helps alleviate the extreme stresses that manifest when July temperatures exceed 100 degrees for days on end. Thanks for your understanding of the five P’s: Proper preparations prevent poor performance! Aerification is coming to a golf course near you on April 10-12.
William F. Hamilton, CGCS
Director of Agronomy
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