Friday, October 12, 2012
I am often asked what I think the coming winter will be like, and to be honest, I really don’t know. That at least leaves me on par with the local tv weather guys and gals. Difference is I just admit I don’t know.
Believe it or not, I once was a geeky meteorology major at Penn State, if only for a few semesters. I found though, that I enjoyed looking down a lot better than looking up, and that atmospheric physics and algorithms just weren’t my thing. So came turf school....
If I were forced to guess what this winter will be like, I would have to say that I think it will be a bit more “wintry” than what we are used to. I say this because the leaves are falling a lot earlier this year. The signs of turf shutting down are also earlier this year than in past years. The woolly caterpillar has a longer red middle than its combined black sections. And the goats have winter coats already. Tomorrow we might have frost....
But honestly, I really don’t know right now. I do know that if you ask me next March I will have a better answer. Just like Al.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
A few updates:
Silvio Villalba has been accepted to the Rutgers Professional Turf Management Program beginning January 2013. Rutgers is the same school that our assistant, Rick Shetler graduated from. Silvio has been working here at Greate Bay for seven years now doing every type of job there is on a golf course. I hope that you will join me in wishing him the best of luck!
For the remainder of the season, we have moved to mats only on the driving range tee. Being a warm season grass, the bermuda grass is going dormant with the cooler temperatures and shortened fall days. It has stopped growth and no longer has the ability to heal. Any divots now will not heal until late next spring – with the amount of use it could receive between now and late spring, there probably would be little grass left, providing a huge opportunity for weeds to reestablish and the quality of the hitting surface compromised well into summer
We overseeded the bermuda with ryegrass (GLS resistant ryegrass) this week to help protect it and to provide colour through the winter months. We also applied a fungicide to protect the roots, which if infected, cause the bermuda grass to die off in patches during the winter. This phenomenon is referred to as Spring Dead Spot.
Plenty of bentgrass seedlings are pushing up where we have overseeded the fairways. Thanks to everyone for avoiding these areas with cart traffic. It is really paying off. The more bent we establish in the fairways the better they will be. Also, bluegrass seedlings are just coming up in the rough.
We have finished aerating and deep verticutting tees. We also overseeded them with bentgrass. Through the next week or so we will be taking the gradens to the approaches to reduce the thatch that has developed in these areas. I hope to post pictures of the operation in the very near future.
I am always asked about the goats and if they are “union”, since I give them a few days off each week... Its hard to eat poison ivy every day so I give ‘em a break and put them on hay to change up and balance their diet. This keeps them from getting bored, fat, and/or under nourished. Also, back at the farm, I observe them for health reasons and we trim their hooves and do a bit of training so that they are easier to manage. While they are back at the farm, we take the opportunity to move their pen to a different area on the course. So it’s not like they are lazy, sleeping, or having a beer while watching Jerry Springer go at it with Dr. Phil, although I have to readily admit that they are a bit more spoiled than most other goats.