Carefully managing soil moisture is especially important as high soil temperatures and moisture levels during June and July created an increase of available nitrogen through mineralization. Increased available nitrogen has resulted in above average leaf growth, creating “puffy” conditions on putting greens. While excess leaf material is not necessarily a bad problem, putting greens can quickly decline if compromised root systems are unable to support the extra leaf tissue. Additionally, typical grooming and brushing procedures to remove excess leaf material often cannot be performed due to hot, humid conditions. Hopefully favorable weather projected for the next several weeks will allow practices like brushing and grooming to resume. Just remember, less is more when brushing, grooming and topdressing putting greens with stressed root systems.
Upcoming aeration schedules should be altered if weather conditions are not conducive for such an aggressive cultural practice. Flexibility is vital when scheduling aggressive cultural practices like aeration during this time of year. If weather conditions do not allow for grooming and/or brooming, then aeration is certainly out of the question. If rescheduling is needed, try not to sacrifice originally planned aeration programs – i.e., tine size, spacing, topdressing, etc. – to fit aeration into a golfing calendar. Forgoing originally planned aeration practices can create issues down the road.
If weather forecasts remain true, improved weather conditions will allow for scheduled cultural practices and good playing conditions.
Source: S. Addison Barden (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Northeast Region Agronomists:
David A. Oatis, regional director – email@example.com
James E. Skorulski, agronomist – firstname.lastname@example.org
Adam Moeller, agronomist – email@example.com
Elliott Dowling, agronomist – firstname.lastname@example.org
Addison Barden, agronomist – email@example.com
Information on the USGA’s Course Consulting Service
Contact the Green Section Staff