(This is Abby, a 4 year old golf course supervisor.)
Summer is Here
There is no avoiding it, our all too familiar summer heat wave is coming through. We were on borrowed time once May hit. We started having issues with hot spots on our greens around May 3rd last year, which in turn leads to us hand watering until late afternoon. This summer, it wasn't until late June that we broke out the hoses and starting throwing water. Cooler temps allowed us to focus on other course tasks rather than if our greens would survive the day.
We try to fertilize our greens 6 times a year with granular fertilizers, the fertilizer consists of a mix of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Throughout the year, our greens get a ratio of 5lbs N, 1lb P, and 3lb K. We spray our greens weekly, and they do get a dose of fertilizer through the spray amendment, however, using a granular form of product allows slower and more controlled absorption into the plant.
(Sam spreading fertilizer on 18 green, while sprinklers water in fertilizer on 17 in background.)
Warm temperatures also bring back the ever plentiful weeds. Where healthy turf isn't present, along cartpaths or dead areas in fairways, weeds are the first plant to start taking up roots. Goose grass, Clover and Nut Sedge are the three main species we battle with. These areas may be large, but they are not large enough to spray with our broadcast sprayer, which is used for spraying fairways and our greens. These areas are controlled using spot treatments from a back pack sprayer or a removable cart tank. Keep an eye out for bleaching of goose grasses around the course, one of the best sights to see after a day of weed spraying.
(Spraying the rock wall for weeds on the drive up with our cart tank sprayer.)
One of the larger issues we, along with other clubs around the KC area, are dealing with is winter kill in our zoysia. These are spots that were covered in snow all winter, wet during the thaw, wet for days on end with multiple rain showers, and never were able to break get a healthy start for the growing season. Our examples would be the middle of 17 fairway, 16 Tee Box, areas of 5 and 10 fairways, and 18 Tee box. To fix this problem re-sodding these areas are our only option. With the help of a sod cutter, an in house zoysia nursery, and a few good men, we have already started the process of repairing these areas.
(Cutting out and removing dead sod, above. Laying newly cut sod from our nursery on 17 fairway, below.)
With 90's in the forecast for the foreseeable future, it looks like our summer routine of hand-watering is back in gear. So let me apologize in advance for wetting the greens and slowing down your putts, but without hand-watering, there would be no greens to complain about.
Remember to fix your divots!!