Tuesday, September 29, 2009

End of summer blooms

With the end of summer come the loss of our summer blooms. A final look at some of the colorful blooms of the season.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Seeding rough

In an effort to improve the turf in some of our rough areas, we are doing some drill-seeding into the weaker areas. Yesterday, Skip used our tractor and drill seeder to do areas in the trees lines which were less than adequately covered in turf. Some of these areas included under the trees between 1-18, 3-12, 4, 5, 7-8, 8-10 and along 16.

The seeder is actually up in the air in the picture below. We work in straight lines because of the blades and the damage that can occur if we turn with the machine on the ground. The seeder drills a line in the ground, seed is then dropped down a small chute and slides to the ground where it is compacted by the roller on the back of the machine and helps to press the seed so it comes in contact with the ground.

The blades below are in the front of the machine. They are pto driven which spins rather quickly as we move forward. This is what cuts into the ground. We set the depth to about 1/2" which gives the seed adequate depth to begin to germinate and will take root. There are blades every 2" which go across the front of the machine at a total width of 4'.

Below are the slits or lines in the turf that are made by the blades in the last photo. The turf seed will germinate in the lines and begin to grow. We attempt to seed at a specific rate to improve the overall turf coverage. Too many seedlings make for a weakened turf stand. Not enough seeds leads to less coverage in an area which can lead to less turf in a given area as well. There is some mortality in seeding of turf. Birds remove a small percentage of the seed. There are times when the seed does not fall directly into the slit in the ground. This can lead to poor soil contact and weakened rooting of the seedling.

The back of the machine is shown below. The tubes are where the seed moves down to the ground surface. As the machine rolls along the ground, there is a wheel which turns. The turning of this wheel moves a mechanism in the seed box which turns at the top of the tubes and forces seed to drop down the tubes to the ground. If the machine is not moving, seed is not being distributed. The roller or packer on the back of the machine will help press the seed into contact with the ground. We use a cart and drag mat to aid in this process which is of utmost importance. If the seed does not make good contact with the ground, it will have less of a chance to root and survive.
We intend to seed into some close fairway rough in the next 7-10 days. We just spayed our bermuda suppressant/eradication material in our rough to assist our cool season turf to expand its influence in our rough. Our hope is that this will weaken the bermuda as it begins to prepare for winter and it will be severely injury over the winter. An additional application made next spring should also suppress the material as well as it tries to grow from winter dormancy. The material that we sprayed requires that new seed either be far enough along to have been mowed once or twice or we delay seeding. I chose to delay seeding because the drill part of our seeding operation disturbs the bermuda grass and creates a pretty ugly scene for a couple of weeks. The weather this summer has been less stressful on our rough turf which reduces the amount of renovation needed for next season. We are placing about 1 ton of seed down to continue to increase our fescue turf in our close rough areas in hopes of replacing and or competing with the bermuda grass.

Green Collar nursery renovation

Its been a few weeks since I've posted on the blog. Time to get back into the swing of things.

We've been working the past couple of weeks in the area to the front and left of 16 tee and to the left of Hole #2. This is an area that we are going to grow bentgrass for next fall to begin replacement of some of our poa infested collars. It will also serve us during the season in case any collars become damaged and need replacement turf. It will be mowed at our current collar height of .300" once it has matured next season.
A few weeks ago we used roundup and broadleaf weed control products to kill the weeds including bermuda that were growing in the area. We also had to use our sod cutter to remove some of the material that was laying on top and to cut a border around the outside of the area.
The area is about 55 x 100 feet. The lower 1/4 of the area will be placed in fescue because it has a tendency to hold too much moisture. Our total bent nursery area will be about 3500-4000 square feet.
The pictures below show the nursery with water being applied to it. We placed a granular soil fumigant material on the surface to eliminate any additional weed seeds and disease which could be in the soil. We watered this material in and continue to place moisture on top of the sand to keep the material active in the subsurface. In about 10-12 days, we will add some nutrients to the base and will seed it with our Cato/Crenshaw mixture which is currently on our greens.

The picture below is of our collar on the practice green near Dr. Ott's clock. The area between the Sweetgum tree and the planter wall in fron of the pro shop is mostly poa annua. The rest of the collar is in pretty good shape and has a majority of bentgrass in its area. Right now, we are treating our greens with Trimmit(Paclobutrazol) which is a growth regulator that slows the growth of both our bent and poa. An added benefit of applying this material is that it suppresses and reduces the competitiveness of the poa, and in some cases will kill the poa. The fall applications do not usually kill the poa. Its the spring to summer applications that can put some serious harm in the poa so this is a product we have to be very careful in applying.
Ok, the picture below shows a spot of bentgrass that my telephone is in the middle of. The bentgrass has a tendency to be darker in color and lays over. Poa makes for a great putting surface because of the number of plants per square foot and it stays more upright but it has serious disease and heat issues in our part of the country.
The following picture is a collar on the same green that has a majority of bentgrass in it. The phone is sitting in a small population of poa. Our spray program will have the affect of continuing to reduce this poa population plus at the same time increasing the bentgrass population. When we aerify in October, we intend to seed some additional bentgrass into the greens to continue to add to our bentgrass plant bank and add more new plants to the green surface.