Recovery Will Be Part Of The Preparation For The Season

By Keith Happ, director, North-Central Region
March 19, 2014

(L) Poa annua does not tolerate prolonged periods of ice cover or extended periods of severe low temperatures. Northern portions of the North-Central Region have experienced the full wrath of the winter conditions. (R) The Job Saver attachment can be used to maximize seed-to-soil contact and help speed recovery of damage caused by severe winter conditions.

It has become clear that for some golf facilities in the North-Central Region a major factor in preparing for the upcoming season will be recovery. Despite all efforts to prevent turf loss during severe winter weather, some of the weaker grasses may have succumbed to Mother Nature. Damage to Poa annua and perennial ryegrass from direct low-temperature kill or anoxia has already been observed in portions of the North-Central region.

During a typical spring, superintendents prepare for the season by aerating soils to stimulate root growth and promote turf health. Spring is a critical time for cool-season grasses during which an abundance of natural root growth occurs. Aerating in the spring takes advantage of this natural occurrence thereby helping prepare turf for the stresses of summer.

If turf damage has occurred, turf density must be re-established to provide an adequate playing surface. To help re-establish turf populations this spring, aerating damaged areas can be done to facilitate seed incorporation and help speed recovery. Commercially available tools, such as the Job-Saver attachment, are designed to help ensure maximum seed-to-soil contact. This attachment can be installed on most types of aeration equipment and is used to dimple the soil surface prior to seeding. The Job-Saver attachment is often used following conventional aeration and topdressing. One common procedure for using the Job-Saver is as follows: First, core-aerate and topdress to fill the aeration holes; then apply seed to the damaged areas; and lastly, use the Job-Saver attachment on the damaged areas.

We know that there has been varying degrees of surface damage on putting greens, low-lying areas of fairways and portions of tees in the North-Central region. Reestablishing surface quality on damaged greens will be the main priority this spring, and aeration strategies will play a key role in the recovery process. Please give our office a call if you have any questions.


Source: Keith Happ
USGA’s Course Consulting Service
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