Critical Spring Management Factors

By Bud White, director, Mid-Continent Region
March 9, 2012

The mild winter and early spring has everyone in this region ready for the grass to begin growing, especially at those courses where damage is still present from last summer’s drought. To encourage the most rapid recovery possible there are a couple of steps that should be taken right away.

Be sure to obtain new soil and water tests. These tests will help determine which nutrients should be applied and in what quantities. They will also provide insight into the need for a soil amendment such as gypsum to help offset salt accumulations. Spring cultivation practices such as slicing and solid tine aeration will help incorporate amendments into the soil. Hopefully, a gentle spring rain will follow your application increasing efficiency that much more.

Phosphorus and potassium also are very important for spring green-up. They also help promote bermudagrass rhizome and stolon growth as soon as temperatures allow. Early soluble nitrogen fertility is not recommended since utilization is low and pushing foliage growth in the spring can detract from root and rhizome development.  For those anxious to see bermudagrass spread over thin areas, remember that until the daytime high and nighttime low temperatures add up to 150°F, lateral growth is very slow.

If I can be of further help with these or other spring management practices, please do not hesitate to contact me at (972) 662-1138 or e-mail I look forward to being of service to you and your club.

USGA Turf Advisory Service invoices were mailed out late January. Remember that May 15th is the deadline for TAS discounts. The early payment fee is as follows:

  • Half-day -- $2400 with a discount of $600 if paid by May 15 ($1800)
  • Full-day -- $3400 with a discount of $600 if paid by May 15 ($2800)


I want to encourage your course to pay prior to May 15th to receive the $600 discount. If you receive your visit prior to May 15th, it is necessary for payment to be made within 30 days of the visit invoice in order to receive the discount. You can download a TAS application at


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