The Endless Spring?
July 17, 2009
What an interesting year. May-like temperatures in June, and June-like temperatures in July. The cooler temperatures are good when it rains nearly every day. Cool and wet is always better than hot, humid, and wet. The conditions have been difficult, but tolerable for those with grass. Not so for those dealing with poor drainage or those that are recovering from a very bad winter.
The few days of sun we have received of late have helped to dry things out and allow maintenance staffs to once again tame the roughs and prepare for the next bout of summer weather. Remember not to let the comfortable temperatures and low humidity lull you to sleep. Turf with root systems that have been compromised by the wet soil conditions or that have grown accustomed to the abundant soil moisture will be more prone to wilt injury. The injury may not be permanent, but damaging enough to predispose the turf to disease and future weather stress.
Take advantage of cooler weather conditions to spike tine (vent) greens and other playing surfaces to stimulate new root growth and to rewet water repellent soils. Weaker root systems also will be more susceptible to pathogens. Continue to topdress the greens, tees, approach areas and fairways. Light vertical mowing and grooming practices are not out of the question as long as the cooler temperatures persist.
The early summer will be long remembered for the cool wet conditions. We can only hope that the remaining weeks of summer weather are not too extreme and that we get to enjoy September-like weather in September.