Hello Deep Springs!
It has been a couple weeks since my last update and I thought I’d catch you up on what’s been going on. We’ve finally been blessed with some nice weather and the course has really started to shed its winter coat. Last month we started off with temperatures creeping up up into the mid-60’s and 70’s. However, we did have a few days towards the end of the month where it cooled down into the 50’s and even had a frost on April 20th. I believe that’s one of the latest frosts I’ve experienced. Most of the time there is an Easter snap and that’s it, but with the winter we have had this year it doesn’t surprise me. Fortunately, this first week of May has had temperatures averaging in the 80’s and so it’s certainly a welcomed sight and feel.
As you look above, you will notice above temperatures are expected to be above normal for the next 3 months. Also, precipitation will be between normal and below normal over the same time frame. I’ve seen several predictions that this summer will be hotter than last year. It seems that historically after a cold winter and cool spring it has been a hot summer. We definitely need some good growing weather after the brutal winter.
One topic I did want to hit on is the poa annua that is popping throughout the course. Back in the fall shortly after my arrival we applied a pre-emergent that would control the poa. However, poa annua is the most problematic winter weed in turf on golf courses. They germinate in late summer or early fall when soil temperatures drop below 70 degrees. So, pre-emergent herbicides are applied at the same time to prevent the poa from establishing from seed. The biggest problem from a chemical standpoint is that over time the poa will develop a resistance to the herbicide and so a steady rotation of products is key to keep the poa population controlled. So, in our case, the poa that is out there right now seems to be resistant to the simazine that was applied in the fall. So, as the turf continues to strengthen with each warmer day the poa slowly weakens. We will help nature out by lowering mowing heights and keeping the plant under stress, but also chemically spraying a post-emergent herbicide. On the greens, our plan chemically will be to apply a herbicide over a month instead of 1 or 2 weeks. The reason for this is while we want to get rid of the poa we dont want to stress the bermuda. So, we will apply smaller rates over a month instead. The product we are spraying has been very successful on poa and also not harming the bermuda. The other areas of the golf course we will do the same thing with lower rates, but more applications.
With the combination of warmer/hotter days, herbicides, and mowing, the poa annua’s days are numbered. I have to say that poa is probably my biggest nemesis out of everything on a golf course. It grows on anything and everything.
This past week our new equipment was delivered. It’s great to finally have some tools that will make our job a lot more efficient. We replaced all of our greens and tee mowers, added a lightweight fairway mower, added a new rough mower, replaced a sand rake, we are waiting on delivery of our roller that will replace the old one, we added 3 carts with 1 being for me so that I can do a lot more and carry a lot more.
I will mention that you may notice our greens mowers mowing really slow compared to the old ones. This is on purpose. The new mowers come with 14-blade reels as compared to 11-blades on the old ones. Without getting down to the nuts and bolts of it, the slower speeds compensate for the faster reel speed and more blades on those reels. It essentially gives the green a double-cut mow on one pass instead of a single-cut like the old mowers.
We did have some added features such as groomers on our greens mowers, updated verticutting units, and also the use of brushes that can be used on our mowers. We are awaiting delivery of our roller. You will notice this big orange machine with 3 rollers on it in a week or two.
All of these pieces come at a critical time as things begin to really grow and so we can do the work that this golf course so desperately needs. One day we will schedule a time where we will have all of our equipment on display and give you a little more detail on how each piece works and even some possible hands on training, so stay tuned for that!
Looking at next week, we will be performing our 2nd needle-tine on our greens. We are about a month since our 1st round. Overall, the greens healed up nicely and had a couple greens where some areas pulled. I’m doing this to continue to “baby” the greens and building up to our 1st greens aerification which is about a month away. We will do it the same way we did it the 1st time. The front 9 greens will be closed on Monday, May 7th. We will re-open those greens just as soon as they are rolled and watered. We will repeat the same process on Tuesday, but on the back 9. As soon as we roll and water we will re-open the back 9 and all holes will be available to you at that point. I want to thank you ahead of time for working with us as we work to get this course in shape for the hot summer!
The next project we will focus on will be the installation of our wildflower garden between #14 and 15. We will soon be mowing down and spraying this area and prepping it for sowing tentatively scheduled for May 21st. Along with this, you will notice several areas throughout the golf course where I will be painting to allow that section of rough to grow. This will be our no-mow areas that I introduced to you on my blog several months ago. I have already started on one area and that is behind the restroom on #13. Please feel free to ask me for let me know if any of these areas are affecting your pace of play. The last thing we want to do is slow you down!
As always, thank you for following us as we strive to make this course one you can take pride in! I would like to welcome all the new members and welcome back some returning members. Please share this blog with any of those who may not be aware of this blog. It’s my way to talk to you as a whole weekly instead of through the newsletter. I want to make sure that communication is an important aspect of my day-to-day and this blog is a big tool in that category. Here you will find out course conditions and weather here at Deep Springs. This is especially important to those of you out of town.
Lastly, please continue to repair ball marks, replace divots, rake those bunkers, and keep carts away from all tee and green complexes. If you have any comment or question, please feel free to email me at email@example.com.