Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 23, 2013

It has been a challenging summer so far....especially since the first week of July. That was the turning point when the temperatures rose substantially without receding, and with the turf roots already compromised from the previously rain soaked soils, some areas of the course – most notably a few of the fairways – began suffering  the effects of  theses environmental stresses.

We have done the best we can with syringing, reducing mowing frequency, raising heights of cuts, reducing traffic in areas, careful water management and increased preventative disease controls. Still, we have had our share of challenges with diseases and the basic problem of nature that not all turf can tolerate the excessive heat no matter what is done.

We have seen more than our share of pressures compressed into the last two weeks. Last week alone, not counting the heat, we battled with pythium, summer patch, dollar spot, annual bluegrass weevil, slime mold, brown patch, wet wilt, fairy ring, cicada killer bees, and summer grassy weeds. We also had vandalism on 14 and 18 greens. And then we had malfunctions with a few pieces of equipment too, but that always happens at the wrong time! Its all Murphy’s Law and its just the way it is. The heat is to subside over these next few days (we are hoping the forecast is correct!), and we will turn our attention to nursing back our weaker areas, and getting caught up on other things.

In the mean time, I want to thank all of our members and guests who let us through to syringe, poke at the turf, and especially for keeping your carts on the paths on the weaker holes. Our staff appreciates all the support you have shown us.

On Thursday afternoon, the valve cover burned the turf when it was set to the side if the quickcoupler

Thursday afternoon - asphalt temperature on 5 cart path at the tee
Thursday afternoon - Temperature of turf  on 5 fairway prior to syringing

Friday, July 5, 2013

July 5, 2013

They’re baaaaa-ck....

Sorry, but I couldn’t help it!

 The goats are back to munch away at all the bad stuff for the season. At this time they are in the brushy area behind 16 green that also borders holes 2 and 17. It’s a pretty big area and we will see how they tackle it. So far they have begun in the middle section under the trees and are working their way out.

Since I have been asked many questions about the goats, I have put together a list of FAQ’s in an attempt to answer them as best I can:

What kind of goats are they? The gals are high percentage Boer goats. Boers are bred and raised for meat. They are efficient eaters, very hardy, and for the most part, friendly.
Do you milk the goats? No, Boer goats are not very good milk producers. There are other breeds like Nubians and LaManchas for that!
Do goats really eat everything? No, not everything, and especially not tin cans! (Those of you who throw your empty beverage cans in the pens please take note!) Some plants, like milkweed and laurel are extremely toxic to goats, so there are areas I cannot take them.  
Do they really eat poison ivy? Although poison ivy isn’t on the top of my herd’s list like wild roses and sassafras have becom , in time they will eat it down.
Do they stay here at night? No, I take the goats to my home for the night. I can’t trust that a stray dog might attack them, a practical joker let them out of their pen, or that someone steals them for themselves or dinner. Anything could happen.
When are they here? I usually bring the goats Tuesday through Fridays, and sometimes Saturday. I dont bring them in wet weather, as goats in general do not like to be wet.
Do they bite? Are they friendly? Our goats don’t bite, although if they get to know you a bit, some, especially Irene and Francis will suck on your finger (I am not sure why they have this behavior). Our herd is friendly, although they can be shy – we take every opportunity to have people interact with them so that they learn trust and don’t become defensive.
Should I get a goat and tie it up in my yard to mow the lawn? NO! Goats are not designed to eat grass – they are browsers and prefer to eat plants “off the ground”. Also tying up a goat leaves it defenseless to run from danger, or it could get tangled up and hurt. And goats are herd animals are very unhappy and anxious if alone.
Are they spoiled? Pretty much! Probably worse than most peoples dog’s!