Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June 21, 2011

The summer solstice occurs at 1:16 pm today! and is the day of the year in the northern hemisphere with the most time of daylight! Sunrise today occurs at 5:32am and sunset at 8:28pm – 14 hours and 56 minutes of daylight today! From this day on til the winter solstice in December, the days will become shorter...

The summer solstice is considered to be the first day of summer, although there is no official decree or law to make it so. It’s just an “easy out” on the calendar! Throughout the world, people celebrate the solstice with parties, pagan ceremonies, prayer, music, etc, and of course, somewhere, probably at a Wal Mart, there is a solstice day sale.

No matter how, or even if, you celebrate the solstice, have a great day and a great summer!

Monday, June 20, 2011

June 20

What makes greens speed? Is it just shaving the down the greens? Is it really that simple?

Greens speed isn’t that simple. Height of cut does play a role, but shaving down the greens is not the only factor. Green speed also depends on many other factors and the consistency of maintenance programs – some of these are mowing frequency, rolling, topdressing, soil moisture management, verti-cutting, growth regulators, and fertility. Green speed is also a function of weather and turfgrass variety. Because of all the necessary programs, green speed also depends on a lot of person power. Green speed is something that must be planned for, not just “made”. And not just accomplished by green height.

When we plan for a tournament, preparations to produce a target green speed begin at least six or more weeks in advance. All the programs are increased to peak the greens at the time of the tournament. If we have timed every thing correctly, the greens will top out at tournament time, and be healthy enough to recover from the stress incurred. The longer we maintain them in this manner, the weaker they become due to all the stresses put on the plants, which is why the greens cannot be kept at tournament speeds at all times. Even US Open and Master’s greens don’t stay fast for very long...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

June 9, 2011

Everything these days are computers, ipads, clouds, blackberries, and all the other stuff that can do it all...but I am a bit like Wendell Barry, who in his essay, “Why I Am Not Going to Buy a Computer”, explains why he still uses a pencil when he writes...

I am that way about some things...

I still use a knife to cut open the turf to look for bugs and make counts, check the greens with an old fashioned soil probe to look at the roots and the soil moisture. I dont use a lot of the digital stuff that claims to do this for me....I still like to rely on my own senses and instincts that I have honed and have learned to trust over the past 50 plus years...and I still like to use the old traveling sprinkler.

I have been using these things since I started out in the business. Some are driven by a diaphragm, and others are gear driven; both use the water pressure as energy. Ours are gear driven. Not much can go wrong!

Traveling sprinklers are a great to supplement large areas that do not get enough coverage from the “computerized” automatic irrigation system. Many days we use ours on the rough areas on 4, 7 and 8. All we need to do is set it up, and then move it when it gets to the end of its run. The traveling sprinkler is very dependable and efficient, and while it is doing the watering, we can be off somewhere else doing other things!

I guess I could add a digital readout, a key board and some blinking lights to the frame to make it look high tech, but I know it wouldn’t work any better. It’d probably get a virus and crash...so I will leave it the way it is....plain and dependable!