Records are made to be broken…
The last time our daily high temperature was below 90 degrees was in late June. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been another record breaking summer. Records are made to be broken, and that seems to be the new normal. It’s been a rough summer on some of our greens turf as well. We try to treat all of our “children” the same, but as in life, the results don’t always pan out as we would like. We have some superstars like greens: #15, #16, and #18. We also have our troublemakers like greens: #3, #4, and #8. I have to attribute the discrepancy to their microenvironments, because all else is equal with regard to physical inputs. They all get the same nutrients, water, and plant protectants. The differences would be in shade exposure, physical location, and air movement. Down in the hollow where #3 is, the air can be quite stagnant, which makes the heat and humidity overwhelming. We may ultimately have to install a couple of big fans greenside to keep the air moving during the July afternoons. I thought we had the upper hand on conditions this summer, but as always Mother Nature makes, and breaks the rules. Consequently, we are spiking the greens to penetrate the surface. Once we have these small openings, we apply creeping bentgrass seed. The bentgrass seed is very fine and hard to see, but it is there. I selected a very heat tolerant variety called “A4” to help in summer survival. I feel that spiking and seeding is the avenue to take as we exit the summer heat. This method will give golfers the best chance to make putts while the greens recuperate. Sodding of these patches takes the green out of play for all intents and purposes. The overseeding of affected areas will continue through greens aerification in September. Once core aerified, the bent seed will really manifest itself and complete coverage should be imminent. I appreciate your patience and understanding during this process. In agronomics, the only thing that happens fast is death.
FYI, the biannual aerification is only a month away. The other coming attraction is the Unit 4 drainage project coming down the left side of #15 fairway. The old metal culvert there has failed and is being replaced by plastic pipe. The hole should not be closed, but the tee markers will move forward as construction moves forward.
William F Hamilton, CGCS
Director of Agronomy
Lake Wildwood Association
Penn Valley, CA
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