COURSE CARE
Cart Path Nursery November 18, 2016 By Zach Nicoludis, agronomist, Central Region

Placing Kentucky bluegrass sod on a paved cart path during winter can make it easier to complete offseason construction projects when they resume during spring.

Golf facilities throughout the northern part of the Central Region are transitioning from standard maintenance operations to fall cleanup and late-season construction projects. However, there never seems to be enough time or labor available to complete all the work before snow flies.

Many golf course projects in the Central Region require a significant amount of Kentucky bluegrass sod. Unfortunately, superintendents often find it challenging to obtain sod for finishing a project during early spring because suppliers cannot harvest turf due to soft, wet soils or lingering frost in the ground. By thinking outside the box, Superintendent Todd Voss and the maintenance staff at Double Eagle Club in Galena, Ohio, have developed a simple, inexpensive way to have sod ready and waiting near a project site for when the winter weather breaks.

The only requirement is a paved surface; a cart path or a portion of the maintenance facility parking area will do the job. Simply purchase enough sod to complete the project and place it on the pavement before winter. Then, when winter passes, the sod will be there waiting for you to complete the work. Sod can be covered with a lightweight germination fabric if the storage site is susceptible to winter wind desiccation. However, covers are not usually necessary if there is consistent snow cover to provide protection from the elements. Healthy, high-quality Kentucky bluegrass sod can be surprisingly tolerant of winter weather, even after sitting on pavement for several months. A word of caution: don't expect the same level of winter survival with thin-cut creeping bentgrass sod because it may dry out. Sod made from bunch-type turf species such as tall fescue or perennial ryegrass may also struggle because these grasses are less tolerant of frigid temperatures. Stick with Kentucky bluegrass and you should have an ample supply of healthy turf ready to complete unfinished business come spring.

 

Central Region Agronomists:

Bob Vavrek, regional director – bvavrek@usga.org

John Daniels, agronomist – jdaniels@usga.org

Zach Nicoludis, agronomist – znicoludis@usga.org

Information on the USGA’s Course Consulting Service 

Contact the Green Section Staff

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