Monday, September 7, 2015

Bermuda Eradication/Expanded To Rough(As you have seen if you've played the course over the holiday)

I mentioned in video posts last week that we were expanding our Bermuda Eradication work to the rough with some newer herbicide chemistry called Pylex. Some might question why would you ugly up areas of the golf course like we have when the course was near perfect.

  • First off, the club spent 1/4 million dollars to install Zoysia 20 years ago. We need to protect that investment. 

  • We've spent well over $10k over the last few years spraying fairways, adding Zoysia and the labor required to install the new sod.

  • The efforts on our fairways must extend into our first cut of rough because Bermuda wants to move into areas of least resistance. It will continue to try to push into fairways. We must push it back or at least keep it at bay. There is probably one grass more aggressive than Bermuda and its poa annua which is most adapted in shade.
  • Bermuda grass is subjected to winter kill in our area about every 5 years or so. This damage leads to delayed green up of our fairways. Reduction of Bermuda in our first cut of rough is also important because of the difficulty in playing out of this grass in the late summer. The less Bermuda, the better playability and for our members and guests.

The last week of August I sprayed varied rates of a product called Pylex from BASF. The rates were from .25 oz/acre on bent grass collars/approaches to 1.5 oz/acre to our main rough. I used our large area spray unit on these areas to insure proper calibration and application. The white color of the leaves is caused by the disruption of chlorophyll production in the plant which gives the plant its green color. It has less activity on cool season grass but there is some activity. Also the secondary herbicide I used also has activity on the cool season. 

Parts of collars on 3,4,5,6,7,9,10,11,12,13,18 were sprayed. 

Rough was sprayed on 1,2,3,4,10,16-18. Bunkers/Green surrounds were sprayed on parts 4,5,7,9,10,11,12,13, and 18. 

This chemistry has serious activity on Zoysia as well which is a warm season grass. Greens collars such as 1-3 will require backpack applications in the next few days because of close proximity of Zoysia directly off the green. The rough was sprayed with an additional herbicide called Turflon which can reduce the amount of white discoloration caused by Pylex but it does have additional activity on the Bermuda and will turn it red. I've sprayed 6 acres of first cut rough and about 1 acre of collars, tees, and green surrounds. 

The rough areas I intend to drill seed Turf Type Fescue into these areas in the next couple of weeks to encourage additional cool season grass and discourage the Bermuda. I will expand the applications to additional rough in the next week to 10 days as well as other green surrounds. We do not have an unlimited supply of this material so don't fear, I will not spray the total course with this material.

This is an area near the dogleg of #1. This was a much lighter rate of Pylex that was applied without the Turflon added. Its having an effect but a slow one at that. You can see the Bermuda beginning to turn white.
This is an area on the right of #1 where I usually dilute and spray extra product out of my tank. You can see the green strip of no activity where I skipped an area in the rough. The cool season rough is tolerant of the spray but the mid-90 temperatures of this week has made its activity on the cool season turf a little more pronounced.

This is the area off the tee on 16 on the left. This is a 1/2  rate of Turflon. With warmer temperatures predicted, I decided to cut the rate in 1/2. More activity on the cool season grass than I wanted but it should calm down over the next few days with rain and cooler temperatures.
This is activity on the 2nd tee on some crabgrass which is cut at 6/10" about twice as tall as our collars. Pylex has activity on multiple grassy and broad leaf weeds which is an added benefit.
Goose grass on 2 tee. Great activity on goose grass.
This is the back of 5 green. The red is Bermuda grass. Most of the white on the right side is activity on the Fescue around this green but I expect this to come out in the next week or so.

This is activity on the right rough on the tennis court side of 18 near the right bunker. It has smacked the Bermuda in the mouth!
This is activity around the right bunker. This was sprayed without the Turflon material.
This is behind 18 green where we have some Bermuda as well.
Part of our Fairway eradication has involved sodding as well. This is over the hill on 10 about 125 yards from the green. Guys removing sod on Thursday and installing new.
In the same area installing new sod.
Removing old spots.
Additional spots waiting for more sod on Friday.
Repaired areas beginning the healing process. Did not remove every little spot of dead Bermuda. Expect the Zoysia to fill in the smaller areas by next season. If we spray and kill more Bermuda next to these areas and larger patches are showing, we will cut them out next season. 180 yards of new Zoysia in this area. 360 total yards laid this week. Well over 20 pallets of sod plus some removed from our nursery as well this season to repair treated and or winter killed Bermuda.

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