Leaves Are Turning And So Is The Page On Another Season

By Keith Happ, senior agronomist, Mid-Atlantic Region
October 19, 2012

Accumulation of leaves in the fall is a rite of passage throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. While the obvious effects of leaves on playability are often recognized, if leaves are not mulched or removed from the turf, they will adversely affect turfgrass health.

Blowing, raking and mulching leaves are the activities of necessity now! We always get questions about leaf removal and most center on whether to collect leaves or mulch them and allow leaf debris filter into the grass? Well, it all depends on where these leaves will be left to decay. Leaves should not be mulched into fine turf areas. They should be blown off putting greens, tees, fairways and out of bunkers. Many operations collect leaves and haul them to a compost site. Leaves can and are often mulched in rough areas bordering the property, but there is a point of limited return with this strategy. An overabundance could result in layers of debris that weaken the turf, rather than help support growth. Labor and equipment resources often dictate which strategies can be used. As a general rule of thumb, collect and remove as many leaves as possible so that the turf is exposed to as much sunlight as possible! This will help to better prepare the turf for the winter and potential play as the weather allows.

Dec. 31, 2012 is the deadline for changing from wideband radios to narrowband. This includes communications with irrigation systems. Fines for noncompliance will be severe and could be as much as $16,000 per violation. Information can be obtained at www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/vhfuhd-narrowbanding-information and http://transition.fcc.gov/pshs/public-safety-spectrum/narrowbanding-faq.html#question_1_4. Don’t wait until the last minute. Protect your lines of communication before the deadline passes.

We are approaching the conference season and Darin Bevard and I will be at all of them in our region. We look forward to speaking with you and discussing how your season went. Even though we are approaching the end of the 2012 season, it is never too early to being planning for next year. The conference season provides educational opportunities and a chance to recharge for next year. Picking up just one new idea or strategy can help a great deal leading into next year.

Always remember that the agronomists of the Mid-Atlantic Region are part of your agronomic support team. Don’t hesitate to give us a call if there are any end-of-the-season questions!  We are here for you. You can reach Darin Bevard (dbevard@usga.org) at 610-558-9066 or Keith Happ at (khapp@usga.org) at 412-341-5922.


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