Monday, April 27, 2009


Well, our flower sale is quickly approaching so I need to give some information out to interested shoppers.

As you can see, our greenhouse is bursting at the seams with beautifully colored plants. Some of the plants were placed in 6 pack containers and need to be moved to 3" packs because they are getting too large and want more room. Some of the items that will be growing in our urns this summer are being moved to larger quart pots to help them increase their size before we place them outside. I've also have to get Chef's herbs planted so he may make some wonderful dishes for you to enjoy. We're going to grow a couple of flats of Arugula as well for Chef to use as needed in the kitchen. Ok, on to bigger and better things.

The sale will take place on Saturday May 9th from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon or until all the product we have available has been sold. You may park your car in the clubhouse parking lot and we will have carts(either golf carts or maintenance carts) available at the pro shop for you to ride down to the maintenance building. Once you've completed your shopping, we will transport your plants to your vehicle. If you would like to play golf and then take your plants when you have completed your round, we will be happy to store them. The clubhouse has prepared a form for me to have you sign and your account will be charged appropriately.
I will have additional information available the day of the sale on each plant if there is something that has peaked your interest but you do not have a lot of knowledge regarding the habit or growing requirements of a particular plant. You may also contact me through email and I can send you a fact sheet on a specific plant.
All Plants are annuals unless otherwise noted in the description.

The 7 varieties below will be sold in 6 packs with 36 total plants per flat.
$ 1.50 per 6 pack and $ 8.00 per flat.

Impatiens Super Elfin Pink
10" tall 12-14 spread

New Look Celosia
Full Sun
14" tall 12" spacing

Salvia Sizzler Red
Full Sun
12-15" tall 9" spacing

Ageratum Tycoon Blue
Full sun
10-12" tall 9" spacing

Nicotiana Saratoga White
Full to partial sun
12" tall 9" spacing

Melapodium "Showstar"
Full sun
14"-24" tall 1'-3' spacing

Salvia Victoria Blue
Full sun
18"-20" tall 12-14" spacing

3" Potted Plants $ 3.00 per plant
18 plants per flat

There will be less availability of the following plants because they were purchased in smaller quantities. The plants in this group have a tendency to spread or their growth habits naturally take up more space.

Angelonia Serena Lavander
Full Sun
12" tall 10" spacing

Bacopa "Bridal Showers"
Full sun to partial shade
Trailing habit
8"-10" tall 12-18" spread

Ornamental Pepper "Black Pearl"
Full Sun
18-20" tall 16"-19" wide

Cuphea Mexican Heather"Allyson"
Full to partial sun
12-24" tall 12-18" spread

Dracaena "Spike"
Full sun
24-36" tall

Begonia "Dragonwing"
Red and Pink
Sun or shade
12-15" tall 12-15" spacing

Heliotrope "Fragrant Delight"
15-24" tall 12-15 spacing

Lantana "New Gold"
Full Sun
15-20" tall 18-24 spread

Calibrachoa "Million Bells Magenta"
Full sun
1-3" tall up to 48" trailing

Pennisetum setacum"Tender Fountain Grass"
Full sun
Annual in our climate
4-5' tall
Soft purplish bloom with nice green foliage

Pentas Lancelota"Butterfly Cherry"
Full Sun
12-22" tall 15-18" spread

Strobilanthes "Persian Shield"
18-24" tall 24" spread

Plectranthus "Silver Shield"
Sun or Shade
24-30"tall 24-30" spread

Rudbeckia hirta"Prairie Sun
Full Sun
2-3'tall 1 1/2-2' spread
Annual/Biennial or short-lived perennial

Petunia Surfinia"Baby Red" and "Red"
3-6" tall and can trail 8' in diameter

Pachystachys Lutea"Shrimp Plant" yellow
Full Sun
yellow blooms

Ruellia Brittonia"Purple Showers" Mexican Petunia
Full Sun
3-4' tall

Blackie and Marguarita Sweet Potato Vine
Full sun to light shade
1' to 4' spread

Zinnia "Magellan Orange"
Full Sun
12-14"tall 12-14"spread

Chenille"Copper Plant"
Full Sun to light shade
3-4' tall and spread

Coleus "Rustic Orange"

Sun to shade
14-20" tall and spread

Coleus "Alabama Sunset"
Sun to shade
24-36" tall and 24"spread

Coleus "Pineapple"
Sun to shade
24-36" tall and 24" spread

Helenium "Red and Gold"
Full Sun
Upt to 4' tall
It will self seed so plant in an area where you don't mind extra babies.

I will also have 3 varities of hostas available for $ 5.00 a plant in at least 1 gallon containers.
One of the varieties are the hostas that are used in front of the clubhouse at the main entrance to the building. I've placed some of the hostas we are selling in the urns on the patio for some greenery.

There could also be a couple of other items that have not been listed.
Hope to see you Saturday, May 9th.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Slow bermuda growth and new sod

As we discussed last fall, we are attempting to remove bermuda grass from our main play surfaces including fairways, close rough, tees and green surrounds. Last fall, we began to spray fairways 4, the flat parts of 7/8 and 13. It was our intention to do all the fairways this spring but after evaluating the amount of bermuda on the golf course, it has been decided to go at a slower pace to insure that we have quality playing surfaces no matter what type of grass. We did spray the above mentioned fairways on Thursday but there are no real affects showing at this time. One of the things you can see if you have been out on the course is that the bermuda which was sprayed last fall is severely stunted and or dead. You also can notice that much of the bermuda on the rest of the golf course is severely stunted or damaged from potential winter injury and the colder weather we experienced in April.

We have a couple of different bermuda grasses on our golf course. One is very coarse stemmed and the other is very fine. It appears the finer leaf variety has taken a pretty severe hit from the winter and early spring weather. I've posted a picture of #5 fairway below which demonstrates how the turf is slow and appears to be somewhat dormant at this time. We are aware of this situation. We intend to fertilize our fairways within the next 7-10 days depending upon the weather conditions and soil temperatures. The fertilization will encourage the turf to grow but there must also be increased soil temperatures which triggers increased growth of the warm season grasses. Remember, warm season grasses only are actively growing during the warmer months of May-September when the soil temperatures begin to reach 70 degrees or more. Many have mentioned that the turf is dry but it is just slightly dry on the top of the surface. If you take out a divot or uncover the turf, you will see that the soil is still very full of moisture. As the heat and wind continues, you will see a number of areas begin to dry slightly; cool season tees and some green edges where the turf usually has a tendency to struggle. As I noticed in playing today, #5 cool season tee is beginning to dry slightly and a tee is not as easy to place in the ground as the other tees.

Below is the exit area from 5 fairway to the parking area for 5 green. On Friday, we placed some soil and new sod in this area. This area will be roped off for some time. I encourage our members to stay back from this area to help improve the overall health of this area that comes into play on a regular basis. We will encourage changes in traffic patterns with ropes and signs as needed.

This is the view at the parking area for 5 green and 6 tee box. We placed soil behind the curbing and placed sod on this area. This will give you a nice step up area or step down from the turf area. We have roped off this area and are encouraging our members to walk around the ropes. Once we begin to receive some rain fall or need to water more heavily, the 6" of fill dirt underneath the sod will become very soft. Thanks for your cooperation.

The two pictures below are looking up from the main drive between holes 8 and 10 just before the bridge on the main road. We removed some trees, filled ruts and placed sod over the stumps which were ground in February. It was important to improve this area for our members who might happen to end up in this area, assist our mowing equipment, and improve the overall view of the club as you drive through the grounds to the club. This area will blend in well once the sod has a chance to grow. We will also be seeding this area in the fall to encourage additional improved fescue blends in this area. We will also be encouraging our largest rough mowers to stay out of this area to help improve the health of the turf. We will also be encouraging our staff to improve their work practices underneath trees in an attempt to reduce tree ring damage. There will be times when we ask them to completely eliminate mowing specific areas and will utilizing smaller units, push mowers and or weedeaters in an effort to reduce some of the wear and tear from our large rough mowers.

Even though I am comparing the work from a spring picture to the winter view, you can see the improvements. We also eliminated 4 trees which made it very difficult for mowers to operate in this very tight space.

11 Green left surround turf/drainage improvement

With the removal of the Oak tree to the left of 11 green, additional work was needed to improve the playability of the left side surround and to help drainage issues. There was a mixture of dirt, poa, bermuda, rye grass, bluegrass and fescue for a person skilled enough to hit it that far which made for some interesting chipping across the green. There were also drainage issues caused by water above the green and in front of #4 tee running down onto the green. The water that came across the front half of the green would move off of the green because there is just enough slope to assist the water in moving off of the green. Water that would run onto the green toward the back half of the green would be trapped by a low spot that has developed in that section of the green. It would also go across the complete back half of the green and slowly move into the sub-surface of the green and slowly work its way out the front of the green. As most everyone knows from playing this green, it is flat for the most part as is the subsurface so moisture would be retained in the green for long periods of time.

Our Master Plan architect, Spencer Holt was in town in January to meet with me regarding a couple of planned projects. I mentioned to him that we had some pretty serious water issues with this green and that we needed to improve the area. We shot some grades with the transit and he worked up a diagram below with the removal of the tree on #11. I just wanted to show you an illustration of the type of support documents that we can do our work.

I'm missing a couple of pictures but will fill you in on what I missed. The soil/sod mix was stripped away with a walking sod cutter. The area is about 45' x 100'. The material was pushed into a pile by a tractor and blade and then loaded up into our dump truck and hauled to our dumping area.

Skip and Russ After sod stripped away and backhoe was used to make our drainage catch area in the back left corner. The staff have already laid some of the sod in the background toward the front of the surround. Excess dirt was hauled to various spots where we needed some soil. # 3 and #12 rough area where we had some ruts. The curbing at #6. The right front entrance where grass will not grow and we will be placing a small hosta border in place of bare ground and some was hauled back to our storage area for future use.

Different view of the same area. Digging out some smaller drains that were located in the back corner.

Skip is trenching and Russ is checking depth to insure that the pipe will drain. We had a transit set up in the background to the left of the tree which set the original depth.

Russ is using a saw to cut through the asphalt so the trencher can continue it's work. A dirty job but someone has to do it.

Old clay tile that we cut through in our trenching operation. We are assuming some of this material was from some type of greens drainage. In the catch basin area, we used perforated pipe(pipe with holes in it) and pea gravel to allow water that is underground to move into this area and be drained away. We laid a couple of inches of pea gravel on the floor of the trench so soil does not move into the pipe.

Old galvanized irrigation pipe that we had to work our way around as well. We actually hit this in two spots.

The 6" drain pipe lying in the trench. We placed a couple of screws on each side of the coupling and wrapped duct tape around it to insure it does not pull apart.

This is the catch basin area with the 12" drain. The pea gravel was placed within the top inch or two and we then placed some sand over this material to the top of the trench which will help our sod hold some moisture and will stay alive.

The finished product from the left front approach area.

From the right front corner. In working with out architect, we wanted to make sure the catch basin area was deep enough to catch the water coming into that area but soft enough to not change the overall view of the green area as you were playing the hole.

The back left corner of the complex looking out toward the front. You can see the catch basin in the foreground.

The view below is from #4 cart path looking toward #11 green. This is the direction that the water will flow from down into the #11 complex.

In playing in the Opening Day event today, the green at #11 had sun on the complete green at 9:45 a.m. this morning. Below is the view from last August when I did some timed photography to determine the amount of shade that was covering the greens during the day.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

First mowings of the season

Last Friday we started to walk mow our greens. We normally use 3 to 4 units each day to complete this operation. This operation will take approximately 8-9 hours of labor a day depending upon the number of operators, the direction of mowing and if we are doing a clean up cut or circle cut.(Circle cut is when the mower will go around the perimeter of the green, tee or fairway that they are mowing and mow some of the grass which they cannot cut near the edge of the area.)
Assistant Mike Walerius is going after the 4th green last week.

We attempt to walk mow as often as we can based on what cultural practices we are doing to the greens on a particular day. Sometimes we will walk mow and use our riding unit and roll greens which help with smoothing the surface and can speed up the greens for a day to two days. During our topdressing operations, we will also use a riding unit. The riding unit reels are larger and stronger than the walking unit and can be ground many more times than a walking unit. We have a grinding unit at our shop which sharpens the reels. Regular sand applications cause the reels to become scarred and cut the turf irregularly. These irregularities create weakness in the plant which can lead to disease and or damaged turf. It can also affect the roll of the ball because the turf is inconsistently cut. With our heavy sand applications, we keep Harry White our mechanic very busy with setting up the cutting units on a daily basis.

Today, we started to mow some of our fairways. While carts are still on paths, I will not usually attempt to mow fairways but there were a number of fairways which were pretty long from their winter rest and were beginning to grow and they were dry enough to not cause damage. There are a number of fairways which we cannot mow right now including 1, 3, 12, and the lower part of 13. Since our zoysia is beginning to green up and grow, we will begin to allow carts off of paths as the fairways are dry enough to allow cart traffic.
Russ is putting the first cut on #2 fairway.
Yours truly is doing the perimeter cut around fairways and walk paths from tees to fairways. Not a lot of grass around the fairways but some cool season grass to mow through in the rough for the walk paths.