Tuesday, March 29, 2011

March 29, 2011

Behind the 11th green, we installed a linear trap designed to catch annual bluegrass weevils as they make their way from their over wintering areas in the adjacent woods, to the green where they will lay eggs. When the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the poa annua, weakening it to the point that it dies.

With the trap, we know when these insects begin to move, and get a rough idea of the initial population that we are dealing with. With this info, we time and manage our sprays to suppress the population of adults prior to egg laying.

Managing these weevils is a year long battle - they can have four or more generations a year. They attack poa anywhere too- greens, tees, fairways and rough. They are also resistant to many of the available treatments. For the best control, timing and rotation of different type insecticides is best.

There are many types of insects that attack turf, yet the annual bluegrass weevil is by far is the most challenging.

Pictured below is the linear trap, Edgar preparing the area for installation, and Denia flagging it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March 23, 2011

When a seed germinates, the root is first to emerge from the hull, anchoring the expected green shoot, and sending up water and nutrients to feed it. Without the root, the green shoot would fall over, wither, starve, and die. The importance of the root over rides the importance of leaves and shoots throughout the plant’s life. If roots are strong and healthy, then most likely, the plant will have the ability to compete with traffic, drought, temperatures, disease, and other stresses that man and nature create.

Friday, March 18, 2011

March 18, 2011

On Sunday, March 20, the spring, or vernal, equinox occurs at 7:21 pm EDT. Its the moment the earth is tilted to the sun so that it follows the celestial equator, and the day is twelve hours of light and twelve hours of darkness. From the moment after, daylight lengthens until the summer solstice occurs on June 21.


I’d like to remind everyone that we will be aerating fairways and tees on Monday, March 21, and Tuesday, March 22, weather permitting. We will do the front nine on Monday and the back nine on Tuesday. There will always be a nine open for play!

We will aerate greens May 4 and 5th. We feel that waiting a bit gives the soil time to warm and for the greens turf to start growing aggressively, which will cause the greens to heal much faster than if we were to do it this early.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

March 10, 2011

About every two or three years we like to tour all of the tree-lines on the golf course and decide which grassy areas are receiving the most competition from trees. Tree roots typically grow near the soil surface and “steal” water and nutrients from our greens, tees, fairways, and roughs. Most of these areas are already tough to grow grass in because they are heavily shaded and receive plenty of traffic. Allowing trees to impact turf from above and below just doesn’t seem fair. On Wednesday, Clarkton Turf Services visited Greate Bay to do some tree root pruning for us. They have an impressive machine which uses a series of curved blades that penetrate about ten inches into the soil (most grass roots grow two to six inches deep), slicing all of the tree roots that could make growing grass even more difficult. Their machine is very efficient and can prune everything we need in about one day. Root pruning is another tool we can use to improve conditions on the course, and when performed properly, is completely safe for trees. The rule of thumb is to avoid pruning more than 1/3 of a tree’s roots in any given year. Our method only impacts about ¼ of the root system, and we have yet to “lose” a tree because of pruning. Check out the video to see just how the machine works.


 Post, pictures and video contributed by Chris Lare, Assistant Superintendent

Friday, March 4, 2011

March 4, 2011

We recently placed strobe lights in both ponds – the entrance pond and the pond bordering the 12th hole – to discourage geese from nesting along the shores and raising their young in the surrounding areas. The solar powered yellow strobes are anchored in the ponds and automatically activate in darkness (evening through sunrise). The blinking yellow light is very disturbing to the geese that overnight in ponds or along the banks, encouraging them to move on and take up residence else where.

During the day, we chase the geese using other methods. Some of these are running Apollo (Joel’s dog) and Rocky (Heather’s dog) and scaring off any geese that might land. We are also using radio controlled boats to chase the geese off the waters where the dogs can’t go, or can’t swim fast enough to get close. A lead goose will break off the main flock and “tease” the dog away by swimming just out of reach and away from the flock, eventually tiring the dog. The geese aren’t so clever with a boat....the boat can get up to 30mph and so this teasing doesn’t work.

Our goal is not to hurt the geese...but just to give them reason to move on. Besides their droppings (up to 3lbs per day per goose) that make a mess, the geese will eat turf down to its crowns, thinning and killing turf areas. By moving them on, they will find other, and hopefully, more natural breeding areas. That’s best for all of us.