Rain, Rain Go Away

By R.A. (Bob) Brame, director, North Central Region
May 2, 2011

Although the Bible suggests that there will never again be a flood that destroys the planet earth, I, for one, have drawn on this promise several times over the last couple of weeks.  The weather has completely changed all aspects of routine maintenance. Mowing has been so disrupted that some operations are being forced to raise the mowing height once there is enough drying to even be able to mow. Then it will be necessary to gradually lower the bench setting to bring the cut down to the desired height. This process is consuming, but it is much better than removing too much leaf tissue with a single mowing. For most, this will apply primarily to greens and fairways. 

Rhizoctonia large patch disease has been active and the wet weather has intensified the spread, making control efforts more difficult. In a few cases, the disease has remained active despite recent fungicide applications.  In such situations a second fungicide application may be needed, especially if the wet weather lingers.  So far, scattered occurrences of Microdochium patch (pink snow mold) has been the only real disease on cool-season turf.  However, that could change quickly if temperatures warm up and moisture levels continue.

Be very guarded with needed aeration this spring, and don’t allow the wet weather to cancel what will directly affect turf quality through the coming summer months. Postponing needed aeration is certainly a reality of working with Mother Nature, but skipping or cancelling is an unnecessary risk. Aeration scheduling should always include an alternate date in case the desired target date is compromised by weather conditions.

Although it’s great to see golfers ready to play on the course, patience will need to be exercised over the next few weeks as we pull out of the wet weather pattern.  We all should occasionally remind ourselves that the only thing that happens fast in agriculture is crop failure, including golf course maintenance.  Pushing too hard now can set the stage for decline when heat arrives.

We are fast approaching the cutoff for obtaining discounted Turf Advisory Service visits.  Payment is needed prior to May 15 to secure a $600 discount per visit.  Scheduling can still be done anytime during the season.  Give us a call or drop an email – we look forward to working with you.


Source:  Bob Brame, bobbrame@usga.org or 859-356-3272


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