Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Weakness in Some Fairways and Approaches

We've greened up nicely is many areas of our fairways but we do have some noticeable weakness in heavier trafficked areas such as approaches, shaded areas, north facing areas etc. There are a number of things that could be attributed to causing these issues. We talk mostly about the good and the work that takes place, every once in a while I have to talk about some bad.

I made the fall application like we normally do with our Bermuda reduction material. We were pretty dry in the fall which the Zoysia was under a bit more stress than normal. Of course going dormant, is a bit stressful as well. We normally come out of winter a bit more delayed than normal because of this spary material. The zoysia is tolerant to it but it can tinge it a little.

With the milder than normal temperatures this winter, our warm season turf staying in dormancy for our RoundUp application in February was a bit of concern. We do spray at the near lightest rate which is effective at killing the poa annua and not damaging the zoysia. The areas most effected, high traffic areas like approaches are a little thinner in dormant turf cover and more chemical material could have gotten down into the canopy and affected live tissue. We have pulled a couple of plugs and placed them in the greenhouse to see if they will green up in the next 10-14 days. If they do, we will be fine. If not, we might have to replace the approach area on a couple of holes.

The issue we are facing could have also been the 15-17 degree low temperature we had a few weeks ago when the plants were just greening up and were very susceptible to freeze damage.

Or it could have been a perfect combination of the 3 things happening all at the same time, weaker zoysia from the fall, just a bit more green up than normal in February and the cold temperatures after the early breakout of temperatures.

We will have a better feel about what is happening over the next couple of weeks. I think a majority of the spots will be fine. One thing I'm probably sure of is the Bermuda got its butt kicked as well.

Greens aeration was completed in 2 days by the guys. Looks good overall. Last major aeration work of the season besides monthly needle tining and maybe a hydrojet application in mid-summer.

# 1 green approach. This is about the width that I sprayed last fall with the Bermuda control product. Its also the width of the area sprayed in February. This also coincides with the turning area of the mowers and rollers which creates excessive wear in this area.

#2 looking across from left to right into front of the green.  Same as #1.

This is an area along #15 we always have issues with. Narrow band of area that is emersed in deep shade for  many hours of the day plus heavy cart traffic due to balls ending up on the down slope of the fairway. I did not spray this area last fall because of the weakness of the turf. Still having issues. Recommendation has been to remove at least 1/2 the trees in this area to allow more sunlight. It is also facing to the east southeast which is not a good situation for warm season turf growth.

Plugs pulled from the approach. Looks pretty weak. There appears to be life down in the stolen area but we will see for sure in 10-14 days.
2 green after aeration

2 green canopy. Holes filled. 

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