Turf Will Need Time To Heal This Season

By Keith Happ, director, North-Central Region
April 16, 2014

Reestablishing plant health above and below ground will be challenging this spring. Recovery can occur and turf performance can be sustained if adequate time is provided to new grass plants.

During the winter months a great deal of planning and preparation takes place. The agronomic planning sessions center on growing healthy grass that can present sustainable, consistent playing conditions during the summer months. For many, particularly those in the Northern tier of the North-Central Region, winter damage has severely impacted putting green turf’s emergence from dormancy this spring. We are now starting to get a feel for the extent of the damage experienced. Wind desiccation damage, crown hydration and anoxia have occurred. The emergence of new bud leaves is a sign that the grass will recover as long as adequate time is provided to reestablish surface density and root mass in the soil profile.

Golf is played on the surface of a dense stand of grass; however, it is the root mass in the soil that provides the foundation that allows grass to tolerate traffic and environmental stress during the summer months.

Please take the time to watch our webcast that was presented April 17 of this year. It focuses on recovery strategies to help regenerate grass on greens and other areas of the course for golf this season. (Watch the webcast)

Not that we don’t have enough to worry about, but during recent Course Consulting Service visits adult annual bluegrass weevil movement has been observed. This early movement is a sign that their migration back from over wintering sites has begun. This is not a time to panic; rather it is a time to so that insecticide applications can be timed to provide maximum control. Weevil migration will be hampered by cold weather that is currently being predicted by extended 10 day forecasts. Scout for population movement in order to treat at the best possible time to interrupt the egg laying cycles. It will be important to exercise patience this spring while recovery from winter injury occurs and pest control measures are implemented.

Source: Keith Happ  khapp@usga.org
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