Nothing So Good as ‘… earth was the consistency of Jello!’ | TheUnion.com

Nothing So Good as ‘… earth was the consistency of Jello!’

Bill Hamilton
LWA Agronomist

There never seems to be the perfect time to do anything. More often than not, one must jump in and “get ‘er done,” or “just do it.”

Such was the case this week when the new golf course pump station showed up for installation. The earth was the consistency of Jello and the big crane had to get to the twelfth hole. To say there were a few ruts is putting it mildly, but we had to get there to make it happen. Between rainstorms, the pump contractor got the job done in short order.

The control panel and skid were installed through the expanded front door, Egyptian style, rolled in on steel pipes.

The shiny new pumps and high efficiency motors were lowered through the skylight in the roof. It was quite an endeavor, but these guys made it look easy.

The only thing left to do is to connect the wiring and tighten the bolts and we will have efficiently pressurized mountain spring water once again. Loving that new pump smell.

We are about three weeks out from receiving HDPE pipe from the irrigation contractor. They will turn the lower Clubhouse parking lot/gravel area into a staging area for five months.

Expect to see eight to ten semi-truckloads of black pipe making the rounds down there. It will be an inconvenience and somewhat unsightly for a while but that is the price of progress. Looking forward to getting this project started.

Also, we had some trees cleaned up on the fourth hole. Now the eight golfers that play the black tees won’t have to slice a draw off the tee to keep it in the fairway.

We are also wrangling some of the mulberry trees on the Course that have become way overgrown over the last fifty years. Although technically they are specified to be removed from the Course per the Master Plan as they are “non-native,” we’ll let them stay for another season. We’re still not sure if they’re a tree or a bush.

There are some very strange things going on in the world of agronomic behavior. All climate change aside, plants and animals are acting differently this winter.

The junior agronomist and avid golfer will first notice that the putting greens are now loaded with Poa annua seed heads. Those are the little white specs on the putting surface. They are also the source of intermittent bumpiness to a well stroked putt. Just ask any touring pro playing on the west coast why he missed that three-footer.

Why have the putting greens gone to seed so early in the year? The bloom is “normally” a March event and we proactively prepare for that with proper preventative maintenance. Now we must scramble to alleviate this issue.

Have your live oaks been shedding large quantities of acorns this January? Seems like a lot and seems kind of late. This was supposed to be an autumn event. Or, maybe it’s early.

There is a phenomenon called “mast years” when trees put out an extreme number of seeds and experts are saying that 2019 was one of those years.

The daffodils are coming in strong and seemingly early as well. All the foxtail grasses and future weeds are up and growing like crazy too. Get your weed-eaters ready.

And I don’t know if I’ve ever seen so many gophers in my whole career. They’re propagating like crazy.

If these are scenes of coming attractions, then it should be an interesting 2020. The only constant thing is change.


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