Monday, February 28, 2011

February 28

In the January 2011 issue of "Golf Course Industry" magazine there is a brief article describing how our staff handled last year's record heat! Here is the URL to the online version that you can cut and paste:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

February 23, 2011

Chris and I were turning into the clubhouse drive this morning and my eye caught this immature night heron in a cedar tree on the right. The shore bird was perched on an inside branch with only his head visible. Luckily we had the camera in the truck, and with the window rolled down, Chris got a good shot of him before he shyly backed up deeper into the cedar to hide. We often see night herons in the entrance pond searching for minnows and crabs, yet this was the first time I have ever seen one perched in a cedar tree.

Friday, February 18, 2011

February 18, 2011

Maybe it’s the recent warm weather, or Punxatawny Phil’s supernatural powers of foresight, but out on the golf course we’ve definitely noticed the days getting longer and the return of spring. We are now about sixty days removed from the shortest day of the year (December 21st), which means we’ve gained about an hour of daylight since Christmas. The change in day length has a profound impact in nature. All over the northern hemisphere plants are responding to longer days (or shorter nights, as the case may be).

Some plants are long-day plants, which require less than a certain number of hours of darkness. These species usually flower in spring or early summer. Some examples are: carnation, ryegrass, clover, pea, barley, lettuce, wheat, and turnip. Other plants react to shorter days, and begin to flower when nights get a little longer. A few examples of short-day plants are: poinsettia, coffee, tobacco, strawberry, cotton, rice, and sugarcane. Still, there are plants that flower regardless of how many hours of sun or darkness they receive. Roses, cucumbers, and tomatoes all produce flowers independently from the length of the day. It is suspected that they initiate flowering after reaching a certain growth stage, or possibly in response to a period of lower temperature.

On the golf course, we’ve noticed certain grasses and a few plants beginning to perk up. The grass-like leaves of crocuses are starting to push their way up through the still-frozen earth. In mulched or otherwise insulated gardens, you might even be able to push away the cover and see the tips of newly forming daffodils. Today’s sun will last just one minute longer than yesterday’s, but that single minute holds the promise of spring.

This post is contributed by Chis Lare, Assistant Superintendent

Thursday, February 10, 2011

February 10, 2011

This morning, the sun rose over a frozen landscape dusted white with snow...

Yet, by the weekend, temperatures are forecast to be in the mid to high 40’s with plenty of sunshine. I am looking forward to that! And to be honest, I am going to think that Punxsutwaney Phil was right about an early spring when his shadow escaped him last week. Besides that, I have a gut feeling that the remainder of the winter will be mild, for whatever that is worth. Nonetheless, I am going to stay optimistic!

The course is weathering the weather well – I haven’t seen any major problems. There is a bit of snow mold disease on a few of the tees, but with warmer weather in the spring, I expect it all to grow out.

The geese took up residence throughout the course while we were on winter break. Now that we are back, we have been chasing them off with Apollo, and doing our best to clean up after them. We are getting that back under control.

In the shop, Don is going over all the pieces of equipment, repairing any problems left over from last season, and doing preventative maintenance that keeps our equipment running as if it were new.

Chris and I are finishing up our strategy plan for maintaining the course this coming season. We build upon strategies that were successful, such as syringing and preventative sprays. We develop programs to prevent new problems, like last years first ever invasion of the “annual bluegrass weevil”. A lot of planning happens long before any of the turf begins to turn green.

Hopefully you will get to come out for a round this weekend when the weather warms a bit. We do miss seeing everyone!