Tuesday, March 11, 2014

First greens mowing of the year and more

The staff rolled and used the riding greens mower on Monday, March 10th.  Since I have been here at GECC, we have mowed on 2/28, 3/3,2/18,2/1,3/1.  As you can see, a bit late for 2014.  I expect we are about 1 1/2 weeks behind in our normal turf growing.  We are scheduled to aerate this Monday/Tuesday. I would prefer the greens to be a little more active in their growth but we should be okay to complete this work early in the week.  The heat over the last couple of days should give them a good kick and mowing another time or two will get the plants responding and begin to grow.  Opening the greens up and placing a heavy layer of brown sand will also help to warm up the profile which also increases growth potential.  I prefer to get aeration completed early so they are in great condition for April play.  I don't like to get our members out all excited to play and then interrupt for aeration and healing during the month of April.  Also, once the rough begins to grow which is usually by April 1st, our staffing levels drop because a couple of guys are tied up with rough mowing. As time allows with the rest of our work schedule, we intend to get single holes placed back in greens for regular play.

Tom mowing #3 green.

We rented a 45' lift last week and have been trying to get some of our Tree Management Program work completed. We have used the machine to remove a couple of trees but our most important use of the lift is to raise the lower branches of the trees and remove deadwood.  As a tree matures, the lower branches of the trees shade turf, create structural issues for the tree and will ultimately die due to too much shade.  Removing these limbs assists to stabilize the tree and will improve the amount of light that turf growing around trees can receive.  We are also removing deadwood and suckers that could be reached from the lift.  We only have the lift for a few days and are trying to get as much accomplished as possible during this period.  
Before trimming.  Low hanging limbs and deadwood.
After some pruning a couple of days ago, the tree has had its lower limbs removed and deadwood removed as well.

Brush underneath an oak along #15. Large trees require a great deal of work.

Chips from oak tree limbs which will be used in some of our course mulched areas.
Becky has already been hard at work pruning back plant material in beds, cutting off grasses, pruning shrubs and raking leaves out of beds. 144 plants are arriving this week with another 3,500-4,000 over the next 3 weeks that must be potted and placed in the greenhouse.

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