Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Taking advantage of a break...

After a long stretch of weather in the 90's (upper 90's in some cases) we have finally moved to a little cooler weather pattern.  As we should, we are taking advantage of the cooler weather to catch up on some much needed work.  We will be out in force over the next couple days eradicating the many weeds that have taken hold this summer.  We will be using both physical removal and herbicide treatments to get the job done (see picture) and hope to have most of the weeds killed or removed by the time the hot weather comes back.

During the most recent heat wave, we were unable to deal with the weeds for several reasons.  First, selective herbicides tend to lose their selectivity when applied during periods of high heat or when the turf is under stress.  It is safe to say that our turf has definitely been under some stress lately!  Secondly, the labor it takes to physically pull weeds was being directed at other projects, many dedicated to hoses just to keep our turf alive.

As we slowly transition from summer to fall, we will be out re-seeding many areas affected by the summer of 2010, and in some cases even laying new sod.  Please continue to be patient and respect any "traffic directing" items such as ropes and/ or arrows.  Soon we will be able to again enjoy the beauty that is Champaign Country Club!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Why does turf die in the summer?

The summer of 2010 has proven to be a difficult on for turf managers.  Nationwide, with very few exceptions, golf courses have borne the brunt of Mother Nature be it too wet, too dry, and without fail too hot.  Here in central Illinois we are no exception.  Our golf courses have experienced turf loss on a grand scale with very few exceptions.  As it has worked out, the problems have been mainly with Poa annua.  Naturally then, golf courses who have more Poa annua have had more difficulties and golf courses with less Poa annua have faired much better.  The embedded video was produced to help explain the effects that heat has on turf.  As you watch the video, consider the fact that here at CCC we have routinely seen 2" soil temperatures spike at 97 degrees in the heat of the afternoon! Difficult growing conditions to say the least!

We will continue to fight the fight, man the hoses, and baby our turf until cooler temperatures prevail (I can't wait) at which point we will begin making our way around the course to reseed areas that are too far gone to recover.

While we certainly haven't been the hardest hit in our area, we do have some trouble spots.  Let's hope for a fall that is conducive to seed germination and subsequent growth!