Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The First Spring Rain

Early this morning we experienced our first really good spring rain accompanied by a sufficient amount of thunder and lightening. To date we have been experiencing a dry start to the season, which for the turf is not necessarily a bad thing. A cold dry spring is gives way for quicker growth to the turf than a cold wet spring. So with today's rain (.65") and the warm weather that's to follow this week we should see a big surge in the growth of the turf, which means next week Pete Greier, our rough mower operator, is going to have to begin mowing rough about 2 weeks earlier than normal.

The spring weather temperatures have been above normal and with rainfall amounts below normal we did pressurize the irrigation system 3 weeks ahead of our typical start-up. But even though we have had the system up and running, we have tried to minimize the use of it. There is no need to over-water the course this time of year. The plants will survive and it forces the roots of the plants to search for water. If we provide too much the plant has no need to send roots deep and that does not set the turf up too well heading into the summer.

Spring is when we need to start thinking about the summer and what we can do to condition the turf and prepare it for the hell we put it through. This week was the start of the pre-conditioning process for us. Wetting agents are being applied to greens, tees and fairways. With today's rain it's the perfect opportunity to apply the wetting agent to fairways. We use a product called Lesco-Flo and this product needs to be immediately watered into the soil, so what better time to do it then when it is raining, cool and cloudy.

There are a few greens that I would say are a little week and don't have the density that we would like to see. Those greens are the ones that are predominately poa annua greens. Greens such as 3, 5 the perimeter of #6, 7, 11, 16 and the right side of 18. Later this week we will be making a seperate soluble fertility application to these greens as well as to the weaker tees on 5, 6 and 8. The extra bump in fertility will aid in forcing a little growth and will aid in creating a denser canopy. Again, preconditioning the turf so we can head into summer with healthy greens.

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