Oh My Gosh I Believe It! February 27, 2015

Oh My Gosh I Believe It!

By David A. Oatis, Director
August 20, 2009

Alright, I admit it, I jinxed us. I was in my basement office Sunday morning typing out my update, writing reports, and generally trying to get caught up. I was thinking about what a weird year it had been and didn’t check the weather for the upcoming week. Even though it was pretty hot and humid last week, I really hadn’t seen many major problems. I was thinking, maybe hoping, that we were out of the woods for the year. Well guess what, the problems have arrived!

Monday morning I visit my first course of the week and there was our old friend summer patch staring at me. No major turf loss, but plenty of the disease. Next visit, the combination of poor drainage with some heat, and we have a bunch of dead grass. Later, I meet a superintendent who brandishes my update in my face (with a hint of a smile) and he’s got dollar spot so bad it looks like it snowed! And then, I find some weevil damage… Oh, and then a few courses aerated last Monday (when it was hotter than H E double hockey sticks), and NOW guess what! Yep, more summer patch.

Okay, it’s been that kind of week; maybe it’s that kind of year. Even with all the rain (trust me, after the Open, I twitch when it starts to rain) it was looking like we were going to escape the year without major issues. I was wrong and I apologize.

So, here is my advice (borrowed from our office coordinator, Diane, whom many of you know) "if you have a good idea, sit down till it goes away."

What does that mean? Slow down, think about the weather, and think about your susceptibilities. Summer patch requires moisture to produce the infection. We’ve had the moisture. Then it needs stress. Recent heat has produced the stress, and if you’ve mowed low and rolled a ton lately (to pick up green speed lost to the rain) you’re set. Or rather, summer patch is set. August aeration works well in most years. Good growing weather promotes rapid healing; however, stress, rain and aeration… you get the picture: summer patch (or anthracnose or mechanical injury…….)

Now be smart and be careful. Treat, prevent, play defense. Have a good fall.

Northeast Region Green Section- Dave Oatis, Director; Adam Moeller, Agronomist; Jim Skorulski, Senior Agronomist