COURSE CARE
From One Challenge To Another September 30, 2010 By R.A. (Bob) Brame

The harsh temperatures of the 2010 season have faded into a fairly normal fall pattern --- normal temperatures, that is.  But rainfall continues to be deficient for a good portion of the lower North Central Region.  Moderate to severe drought conditions exist over a large portion of the region.  Although dry conditions makes it easy to complete course projects, it’s difficult to restore good turf density in areas outside of sprinkler coverage.  Trying to time seeding in front of a rainfall is the common default, but when the rainfall is lacking, so are the results.  Cooling soil temperatures will likely add to the mix and require additional seeding in the spring, at least for some.    Review these related articles; http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/tips/2010/09232010_droughtheat.html,   http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/tips/2010/09292010_drought.html.      

Golf courses that avoided core aeration during the last few years did not come through the 2010 season as well as those that stayed the course.  This underlines the importance of aerating, even if the work has to be pushed later into the fall.  At that time, it makes it slower for the holes to grow in, but it still allows the upper profile to be modified if plugs are removed and channels are completely backfilled with sand topdressing.  The bottom line --- don’t make a mistake and skip fall coring.  Do the needed work, even if it is later than ideal.  Check the following link;

http://buckeyeturf.osu.edu/component/option,com_turfnotes/Itemid,84/noteid,2490.    

There has been a scattering of grub-related damage on courses over the last few weeks.  In some cases it occurred outside of treated areas; alternatively, the preventative treatments were applied too early.  Either way, investing in rescue applications to knock out the grubs before they begin to move deeper in the soils will enhance control next season.  The clock is ticking, so treatment should be done immediately.  Be sure the insecticide is watered-in well, which means utilizing the irrigation system rather than relying on rainfall.   

Preparing for next year’s battle is well underway and should not be shortchanged.  In other words, good practices applied from late summer through the fall will pay dividends next spring.  Winter will bring some needed rest, but we’re not quite there.  If there are questions or concerns at your course, give us a call.  Fall visits offer a great opportunity to evaluate what worked and what may need to be adjusted.        

Source:  Bob Brame, bobbrame@usga.org or 859-356-3272 

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