COURSE CARE
The Season is Winding Down: But Don’t Stop Scouting, Monitoring and Adjusting February 27, 2015

The Season is Winding Down:
But Don’t Stop Scouting, Monitoring and Adjusting

By Keith Happ, Senior Agronomist
September 1, 2009


The recent weather patterns of heavy rains followed by oppressive heat and humidity have placed significant pressure on all turf, and putting greens in particular. Dollar spot, brown patch, summer patch, anthracnose, Pythium, wet wilt, and mechanical damage have all been seen throughout the region. The good news is that the problems have not occurred everywhere. For the most part, turf in the Mid-Atlantic Region is holding up well, except for those unlucky enough to have received the heavy rainfall. Some totals have been in excess of 15 inches of rain for the month.

Dollar spot and brown patch have been the most damaging. Non-treated areas have been white with mycelium in the mornings. High humidity and lingering damp conditions create the perfect storm for these diseases. Extended periods of leaf wetness contribute to the outbreaks and it is economically unrealistic to expect that all areas of the course, including the roughs, to be protected with fungicides.

Another contributing factor has been budget cutbacks. In some instances, no fertilizer has been applied to roughs. If turf is weakened it is more susceptible to disease when environmental conditions are harsh. Additional fertility may help when managing dollar spot and, more importantly, promote healing before winter weather arrives. Some areas may have to be reseeded. If you are concerned or have specific questions regarding management strategies, give us a call.

Significant populations of Hyperode weevils have been seen during recent Turf Advisory Service visits. All stages of the life cycle have been found with second, and potentially third, generation adults inhabiting greens, collars, and approaches. In areas such as Williamsport, Pennsylvania to Berkley Springs, West Virginia, grub damage has been severe and Hyperodes adults have been observed on greens in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Scouting is essential for the use of site specific control programs. Controlling adults prior to their egg laying or over-wintering will help break their life cycle. Controlling grub activity also disrupts the life cycle and potentially saves money that could be spent on disease problems.

Finally, questions have been asked about specific control strategies for clover. There are many materials that effectively remove this weed. However, the base turf must be healthy enough before treatments are performed. Minimize non-target damage by selecting the most effective product and be sure there is good soil moisture before any weed killer is applied. Timing is everything, and fall is an excellent time to control clover. The plant stores food reserves for the winter and when a timely application is performed, the herbicide is moved to the root system resulting in very effective control. Check the labels of any herbicide to determine if adding a surfactant is necessary.

Remember, the Mid-Atlantic Region agronomists are part of your agronomic support team. If you have a question or concern, give us a call or send an e-mail. Stan Zontek (szontek@usga.org) or Darin Bevard (dbevard@usga.org) at 610-558-9066 or Keith Happ (khapp@usga.org) at 412-341-5922.