Saturday, July 30, 2011

July 30, 2011

I’ve always told people who’ve asked me about the greens staff that I work with best people that I have ever worked with...every day they teach me something new and inspire me.

The following is an email I received today that goes with everything I have ever said of the greens department staff –

  I just had a call from Melissa Fata - the head teller at Cape Bank in Linwood.  They have been doing a food drive for the last couple of weeks.  Today Clara, Denia, Pedro, Edgar, Marisol, Max, Isabella and Isidro came in to cash their checks and brought quite a bit of food to donate.  Melissa said the box is now overflowing.  She was so touched by their generosity that she just had to call and tell me.  She also said they are always so pleasant when they come in.  Please let them know their “good heartedness” does not go unnoticed!  We are lucky to have them as part of our team.
Have a Greate day!
Candy Jankowski

Saturday, July 23, 2011

July 23, 2011

On Friday, July 22, the temperature rose to 102 degrees with a heat index topping out at 116 degrees. Although we had many hot days last year, this day beat them all. Today is forecast to be pretty much the same.

We continue to do all we can to hold conditions. Cool season turfs such as bentgrass, blues, and ryes will decline in this heat. Poa annua, a winter annual, simply wants to“check out” as it has evolved to do and is supposed to do.

To relieve the heat we increase syringing – not watering. Syringing is the art of applying a small amount of water on the plant to cool it down. Just like us and any other life of cells, turf can suffer fatal heat exhaustion. Consistently cooling it down throughout the day can help to prevent turf from becoming over heated, increasing poa’s chance of survival, and suspending decline of the other grasses.

At the same time, as heat weakens turf and its natural defenses, diseases have an easier time of taking over. Brown patch, pythium, and anthracnose are the most active in the heat, and if left unchecked, these diseases can take out acres of turf in hours-yes! in hours!

We have applied preventative fungicide sprays to the greens, tees, and fairways to suppress these diseases. They can never be eradicated totally, so we have to be diligent and watch for any “breakthrough” so that we can reapply fungicides immediately.

The heat is not a good thing – it is really tough on the grasses, and on people. We will just continue to do the things we do and do them to our best ability so that the turf has its best chance of making it through these ridiculously hot periods.
Using ice to cool turf on 7 tee. Also, as the ice melts, the cold water seeps into the soil and drops the soil temperatures
Poa yellowed due to heat stress, but will recover when the temps go back down.  

Edgar cooling down the 7th green
Close up of a syringe/ misting nozzle.
Pythium on ryegrass rough

Sunday, July 3, 2011

July 3, 2011

The Southern Pine Beetle (SPB) population has been on the increase in southern New Jersey, and we recently have identified it on the golf course, most notably in the areas near the 13th green and 4th tee.

The SPB attacks all pines, but favors the native pitch pine. The adult beetles bore into the inner bark and the female then lays her eggs. The hatched larvae then feed on the inner bark, girdling the tree on the inside.  The beetles also transmit “blue stain fungi” which colonizes in the trees xylem, blocking water movement in the tree. When these larvae mature, they bore out of the tree and fly to a host tree to lay their eggs and the process begins again with a new generation. Once infested with the beetle and blue stain fungi, the tree is certain to die with in a month or two.

Spraying a pitch pine near the 11th green.

Having found the SPB, we have contracted with a local tree service to do preventative sprays to do our best to hold off further infestations. Last Thursday we sprayed about 50 trees and next week we will spray at least as many more. Due to the expense, we will be concentrating on the specimen pine trees and ones that are “part of the course”. Our plan is to protect as many of these pines as is feasible.

Dead pitch pines to the right of the 13th green that were attacked by the SPB and blue stain fungi earlier in the year.