Monday, March 8, 2010

Collars/Approaches information

Our collars which are the first cut next to the green surface, are mowed at 3/10" during the season and are 30" wide.  The mowing height of our bentgrass approaches are the same height but are much wider than the other 3 sides of the collars.  After a season of operation, the collars have a tendency get larger.  We ask the the greens mower operators to be careful and now scalp into the collars because of their inability to recover quickly.  As they continue to make these circles every other day during the season, the collars expand. 

Each spring, we use our green mowers to narrow our green collars back to 30".  The greens are mowed at approximately .125 which is approximately 60% lower than the collar.  As you mow the collar at a cut that is taller than the greens, the crown of the plants grows at a higher point than it would at green height.
(The crown is the point in the plant that I call the growth center.  It is the location of the plant where the leaves and roots form.)  When we cut any plant much lower than it normally grows, scalping occurs and the crown is usually injured.  It will need time to recover.  The cooler time of spring assists the plant in recovering from injury.  As we continue to mow the area at green height, the crown of the plant adjusts to a lower point so it protects itself  from further injury.  

This can also occur in your home lawn if  the mower height is lowered significantly.       

During the season, you might notice some paint dots along the collar and green which identify where the operator should adjust their cut either to the inside our outside.

There are some greens that will only need an inch or two adjusted but other sections that might need more significant adjustment made in the green surface.

The picture below is from #5 and illustrates what we are attempting to do.  To the right of the ink pen is the green height bent.  To the left of the green to the camera case is the area that has been scalped.   There is at least 12" of the collar that we are trying to reclaim to green height.    
The picture below is the approach of #8 where we sprayed the poa that has been growing and attempting to smother the zoysia that is dormant.  This area was sprayed in late January after the thaw and just before the cold and snow hit the course.  The warmer weather has allowed the RoundUp to do its work to the plants.  
We will be monitoring these areas to insure that the zoysia grass is still alive under the poa.  If it is not alive, we will strip out the area and put new zoysia in its place.  I expect most of the zoysia to be in good enough shape to survive and thrive.

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