Wednesday, September 22, 2010

September 22, 2010

The Fall Solstice is now less than a day away, yet the warm and dry weather continues. This weather pattern is forecast to continue with higher than normal temperatures and little rainfall.

Looking back over the summer, there were… 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44 days over 90 degrees since April!

And the record highs that were set so far this year:
- March 19…73 degrees
- April 6…88 degrees
- April 7… 91 degrees
- May 2…88 degrees
- June 20…95 degrees
- June 25…99 degrees
- July 5…99 degrees
- July 6 …102 degrees
- July 7…98 degrees
- July 24…99 degrees
- July 25…99 degrees
- August 5…96 degrees
- August 29…98 degrees
- August 31…99 degrees

April, June, and July of 2010 respectively were the warmest single months ever recorded.
There was less than 6 inches of rain combined June through August.
On September 8, 2010 the NJ DEP declared a drought watch.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

September 21, 2010

It has been less than two weeks since we aerated the greens and fairways. With the nice weather that we are having, and after-aeration care, the greens and fairways are almost completely healed. Next week we will be back to lower mowing heights and grooming!

During the aeration, we overseeded all the tees with a bentgrass variety mix, and are happy to say that the seed is coming up strong! The overseeding was done to increase the bent population of the tee boxes, which will help reduce the time it takes for divot healing, as the bent will grow over.

With the return of moderate weather, we are picking back up activities to improve the course. Presently, we are preparing the area left of 13 tee to plant a screen of arborvitaes to seclude the tee from neighborhood yards.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

September 15, 2010

You’ve probably noticed that there are a great number of monarch butterflies in the air throughout the course, and many more on flowering plants and shrubs resting or taking in nectar.

This is the start of the monarch’s fall migration to Mexico where they will “hibernate” for the winter. It’s hard to imagine that such a light and fragile insect has the bird like abilities to navigate these long distances and survive. The monarch is the only butterfly to do this.

Next spring, the monarchs will make their way back north in successive generations.

Monarchs lay their eggs on milkweed plants which is the only plant the monarch caterpillar feeds on. There are “toxins” in the milkweed plant that make the caterpillar bad tasting to predators, so most birds, etc leave it well enough alone. To help the monarch along and increase its populations, we let milkweed plants grow where they do not interfere with play. One area is at the top of the 15-16 tunnel banks nearest 15 green.

This is another example of how Greate Bay does all it to can help wildlife.

Friday, September 10, 2010

September 10, 2010

A few weeks ago, on Saturday, August 14th, I attended the Eagle Scout presentation and ceremony for Chris Waniak of Somers Point, a member the area’s local BSA Troop 55.

In May of 2009, Chris did his Eagle Scout Community Service project here at Greate Bay, erecting nesting boxes and nesting tubes for mason bees, and placing them throughout the golf course. I helped Chris with the planning and implementation of this project as part of our certification project with Audubon International. Together we made a great team.

I am proud of Chris for achieving the honor of Eagle Scout. I know that he will continue to achieve and make a difference in this world throughout his lifetime.

Congratulations Chris – you deserve it!

Related notes:

Chris is the son of James Waniak, who is not a stranger to golf! Jim was an Assistant Superintendent of Linwood CC and later became the Golf Course Superintendent of B.L. England. Jim is now in charge of the fields for the Atlantic City school system.

Heidi Hibbs, Chef Norm Hibb’s wife, has been very active throughout the years with BSA Troop 55. Both sons of Norm and Hiedi achieved Eagle Scout as members of BSA Troop 55.

Friday, September 3, 2010

September 3, 2010

We practice aeration to restore and/or improve growing conditions for the turf, which makes all the sense in the world. A doctor needs to perform surgery at times to save a life, and although we are not doctors, we do the same on soils to preserve the life of turfgrass.

This picture of 8 approach is a great example of the benefits of aeration. Take a look and you will see that the grass that survived in this patch is in a recognizable pattern…an aeration pattern. In the aeration holes there was oxygen, loose soil for deep rooting, little thatch, no compaction….thats why it survived.

On Monday, September 6th, we will begin green and fairway aeration, hoping to be finished Wednesday. If you have a few minutes, come on out and watch – I will be happy to explain the process and show you the whats and whys of aeration!