On The Road With The USGA - October 2009
Another season is beginning to wind down, although course maintenance over the next few weeks will have a direct impact on how the turf handles next year. Remember, as your course moves through the next few weeks of fall, renovation/construction is not maintenance. While fall can be a great time to complete various projects, don’t allow projects to compromise needed maintenance like aeration, topdressing, fertilization, and mowing. In fact, the best way to handle renovation/construction projects is to utilize the services of an outside contractor. At the very least, establish a dedicated project budget (material and labor) to prevent pulling from routine maintenance. The tough economy has forced most maintenance operations to do more with less, but there is a limit to how far this can be pushed, and it is routine maintenance that ultimately protects course conditioning and value.
The last half of September brought a swing from dry to wet in many areas of the region. The last couple weeks of wet weather have removed all rainfall deficits, while also compromising maintenance activity at most courses. Some scattered disease activity has been reported, most notably dollar spot. For those maintaining zoysiagrass check the following link about large patch prevention. http://turfdiseases.blogspot.com/2009/09/large-patch-is-brewing-in-warm-season.html
A related link adds additional information on the prevention of spring dead spot disease on bermudagrass. http://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/Alerts.aspx#004894 There have been no reports of gray leaf spot disease damage.
Some courses have experienced grub damage and this may intensify over the next few weeks. In most cases, where an insecticide was applied and grub damage has occurred, the timing of the insecticide application is the issue. Making the application too early in the season can allow damage in the late summer/early fall unless a follow-up treatment is made. The following link from Dr. Shetlar at Ohio State University offers some good information about a less common insect problem, but one that seems to be increasing. http://buckeyeturf.osu.edu/component/option,com_turfnotes/Itemid,84/noteid,2394
The feature photo of the month offers a good reminder (see photo). Don’t allow growth regulation and/or the mowing height to compromise the interface between putting surfaces and collars. To properly apply the Rules a player must be able to determine when a ball is on the green.
The first major turf conference for the season in the lower North Central Region is just around the corner. The Kentucky Turfgrass Council Conference and Show will be held in Bowling Green, KY, on October, 19-21: /content/dam/usga/pdf/imported/09program.pdf
Fall is a great time to schedule a Turf Advisory Service visit to review 2009 and plan for 2010. Call or email anytime to schedule a visit, to discuss concerns or to pass on an observation. Hope to see some of you in Bowling Green.
Source: Bob Brame, firstname.lastname@example.org or 859.356.3272