Spring Isn't The Time To Force High Quality Conditions
May 8, 2008
First, let's start with a very brief introduction. I am the new agronomist for the Northeast Region, working out of the Easton, PA office with Dave Oatis. I am excited to be located in a region with so many great golf courses and turf managers, and I look forward to meeting and working with all of you.
Warm, dry weather observed throughout the majority of the region in the past two weeks likely cured anyone suffering from spring fever. It also is helping to rid greens of cool season brown patch, which we've seen lately. This weather is conducive for early season construction projects and course conditioning. Cooler temperatures and more wet weather are sure to return however.
Annual bluegrass weevil (ABW) activity has been observed in several parts of the region. If scouting reveals substantial ABW populations, proper control strategies should be implemented. Scouting for ABW involves examining the edges of fairways and greens, near leaf litter, for the adults. The most cost effective and best control of ABW involves targeting the adults. Several insecticides can be used to target the adults, however, keep in mind that resistance to pyrethroid chemistries has been a concern in the past.
Poa annua seedheads also have been widely observed in the region. Second and third applications for seedheads have likely been made or are approaching soon. However, control has been spotty at many golf courses. Research has shown that an application of Primo two weeks after the final seedhead suppression application reduces anthracnose outbreaks compared to areas only treated with a seedhead suppression material. Therefore, Primo, applied shortly after the final seedhead suppression application, is recommended.
The spring weather has been favorable for turf growth, course conditioning, and, of course, golf. Remember, now is the time to maximize root growth, which is crucial to summer performance, not for pushing the turf to appease eager golfers. Perhaps Al Radko, former national director of the Green Section said it best, "Spring is the time of year for the player to work his swing into the groove for better summer play; similarly, this is the time for grasses to work themselves out of dormancy, to condition themselves for the tough road ahead."