Thursday, April 22, 2010

April 22, 2010

The rain that we had last night prompts me to explain why I ask for carts to sometimes stay on the paths after rainstorms. I don’t think that I have ever had the opportunity to address this before.

The reason is that wet soil compacts more easily than drier soil. The water lubricates the soil particles and when downward pressure is applied, the particles are moved closer together, filling and reducing pore space. Pore space is the open space between soil particles that holds and drains water, gives room for roots to grow, moves fresh air into the soil and vents the bad air out, etc. Without pore space, water, gases, and roots have no where to go, and the turf thins, and sooner than later, dies….

Limiting traffic on wet soils is another piece of the puzzle to having healthier turf that lasts the season long.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 14, 2001

On Wednesday, the 14th of April, we used a machine called the “verti-quake” to loosen the soil beneath the tees. The “verti quake” has off set knives which rotate into the ground at least 10” deep, pushing the soil column left to right, right to left over and over again. This side ways quaking action breaks up the compaction, opening up pore space for roots, air and water. The end result of this process will be stronger and healthier tees!

Click on the video to see the "verti quake" in action!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Now that we are charging up the irrigation system, I thought I would write a little bit about where our irrigation water comes from…the Kirkwood- Cohansey Aquifier and rainfall.

Our water starts its journey to the sprinkler nozzle from all points of the world as it is evaporated and then carried in the earth’s atmosphere until it reaches the sandy soils as rain.

The rain that is not carried off by streams, or retuned to the atmosphere as evaporation or transpiration, percolates into the ground where it is stored in the earth’s rich underground. The Kirkwood – Cohansey Aquifier underlies over 2000 square miles of the state, lies about 10’ under the ground surface, and ranges in depth from 20’ on its western boundary along Rt 70 to 300’ deep along the Atlantic Ocean. It’s estimated that the Kirkwood- Cohansey Aquifier stores up to 17 trillion gallons of water! For those of you on wells at home, it is the source for your water.

Our pond on 12 is filled by natural seepage from the aquifer. It is also filled by rain and rain runoff from 12 and 11 fairway areas, and run off from the residential areas that surround the eastern areas of the course, notably from the neighborhoods abreast of 13, 14, and 5. We also have two wells that extend 150’ deep into the aquifer which we use to fill the pond when rain and seepage do not keep up with irrigation withdrawal.

The Kirkwood – Cohansey is one of our states most important natural resources, and as our commitment as a certified Audubon International Golf Course Sanctuary demonstrates, we work hard to protect it. We are careful to conserve water and only take the minimum amount we need for irrigation purposes, and we follow programs that protect it from contamination from pesticides and fertilizers. After all, every life on this planet is dependent upon water, so we do our best to preserve its purity and quality at all times and in all we do.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April 6, 2010

What are all those yellow dots on the ground? What are Chris and Silvio spreading all through the rough?

It isn’t a fertilizer, but a herbicide which we call a “pre-emergent”, or a “pre-em". Pre- em’s are a class of pesticide that is applied to kill weeds as they germinate, and must be applied prior to the target weed’s germination. The herbicide creates a barrier at the ground surface that newly emerging weeds must pass through on their way through the soil. As they pass through the barrier, they absorb the herbicide and die. The barrier, unless physically broken (by a divot, aeration, etc) will persist for 4 months, giving control until mid August. If a pre-em is applied after the target weed germinates and emerges, it is too late, and little control is achieved.

Pre –em’s are used for many types of weeds, but our main target is crabgrass and goose grass.

Crabgrass begins to germinate as the soil temperatures reach 55 degrees f, and continues to germinate until the soil temperature cools in the fall. Goose grass needs higher soil temperatures, and normally doesn’t begin to germinate until late May or June, continuing through September.

We determine our application timing two ways – prior to the soil temperature reaching 55 degrees f, and the “count back”. Count back refers to how long we want the barrier to remain, as it will also prevent wanted grasses from germinating. If we plan for fall reseeding, we need to apply the barrier in time that it will be gone (degraded). April through August is 4 months, so it gives us a seeding date of mid August to be safe.

Applying too early does not give control long enough into the summer, and too late doesn’t catch the weeds before germination, and then the barrier lasts past the late summer seeding window, causing yet another problem. Over and over, I will keep stressing one thing, and that is “Timing is everything for everything” … for everything we do!

We use different pre – em’s for different play areas and for different grasses. In a few weeks we will treat the tees and fairways with another product which was developed specifically for the finer turf areas. We will use yet another pre –em for our greens collars. We do not treat greens because pre –ems prune roots, and on greens, we always need every bit of root that is there. If crab grass or goose grass should emerge, we pick it out with a knife!

So that’s what we are doing, and what all those yellow dots are all about!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

April 3, 2010

I would like to wish everyone and their family a greate Easter weekend!

Friday, April 2, 2010

April 2, 2010

Synergy n., pl., -gies.
1. The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.

Today we are trying to take advantage of the plentiful sunlight, warm air temperatures, and generous soil moisture by applying a soluble fertilizer to the greens to help shorten the healing time from aeration. Each by itself does not grow turf, but together, these combine to provide a physical and nutrient rich environment to “push” the turf to its maximum, and we are taking advantage of this synergy the best that we can!