Friday, April 29, 2011

Back of #7 Green Project

This week we began work on leveling the back of #7 green bank.  The sod was removed and soil was added to lessen the angle just off the green.  We also enlarged the collar in the back of the green and today we were able to acquire sod (they were not cutting due to the rains). 

The back of #7 green with the new soil in place.  The enlarged collar is also visible.  Note all the worm castings on the bare ground, but none on the green or collar.  Worms are everywhere!!  In the longer grass it is just not as noticeable, than it is on fairways.  Worms do not like sand, thus they stay away from  the greens.  We are adding sand to fairways, but it will take a few years to build up enough to discourage the worms.

Laying bluegrass sod around #7 green bank.

Ahhh, Sunshine!

As we near 5" of rain for April, it has not just been the rain but the cold that has kept spring from springing forward.  The aerification holes are now just starting to heal and with all the rain our mowing schedule have been off all week.  This time of year we lower the height of the mowers on the greens as the sand from aerification disappears.   This is a slow and gradual process - 5/1000's of an inch at a time.  When it rains and we are unable to mow, the process of lowering the height of cut is slowed.  In the next few days we will reach our normal height of cut on the greens for the season.

The effect of sand on the cutting edge of a greens mower bedknife.  Notice the grooves at the top of the picture.  This surface should be smooth.  This can happen after just a few passes by the mower on a green.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

CDGA Weekly Update

April 22, 2011 Scouting Report

April is Cloudy and Cold! Bentgrass Purples, Snow Falls, Sub 50 Degree Soils, and Tim talks Tall Fescue Green-up

Chicago/Northern Illinois Update: Derek Settle -
Cold and Wet. A week ago, I praised the progress of spring. I was sure winter was completely behind us and, like many others, I was checking off the appearance of our earliest blooms in the landscape - Forsythia, check. Also, for the first time, all cool-season turfgrass had attained a nice uniform shade of green and a few trees had begun to leaf out. This week things changed. During the day we had to accept a dismal cold and wet weather pattern above our heads. At night hard frosts would return and Mother Nature even delivered one final snowstorm for good measure. The weathermen put it to us this way: "It's rained 14 of April's first 21 days--a fact not lost on many rain and cloud-weary Chicagoans." "April 2011 is tied with 1953 as the cloudiest APRIL on the books here. The month, with 9 days left and at least two additional wet storms in line to visit the Midwest, has already logged 3.25 inches of rain..." Tom Skilling blog 4-22-10

Superintendents were in disbelief (emails, texts, and photos to me) as some measured 2-3 inches of snow on Monday, April 18. Still, there is no holding back all the seasons - Easter is Sunday!

Have a good weekend and Happy Easter!

Derek Settle, PhD

Rain and more rain

Last night we received another 3/4" of rain.  The total for April we are nearing  5".  The forecast is for a chance of rain the next few days.  Yesterday we began work on the green bank of #7.  The sod was removed and soil was spread to lesen the slope off the back of the green.  Our plan was to begin laying sod, but that will have to wait until things dry out a bit.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bunker Maintenance

Today we began work on edging the bunkers.  While edging we also check the depth of the sand and check for any of stakes or liners that might have worked their way up.  The freezing and thawing over the winter causes the sand to shift, and in some cases pushing the staples up and out of the bunker (see picture below).  Earlier this spring we removed any staples that were lifted over the winter and added sand where needed.

The first edging of the year.

Bunker in the peat, with the plastic staples pushed up from the frost over the winter.  Plastic was used due to the acidic nature of the peat to eat away at metal.

The bunkers in the clay ground had staples lifted over the winter (metal stapes were used in non-peat ground area).

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April Tempatures

April started out warm, but lately the air and soil temperatures have been on the decline.  As the temperatures cool, plant growth has slowed.

Below is data taken from our weather station on the golf course for the month of April.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Snow - What happened to Spring??

Today we had about 2" - 3" of snow covering the ground.  By late afternon, the snow had melted away.  The holes from aerification are beginning to heal, but the cool weather will not help the process along.  Rain and cool temps are in the forecast for the coming week.

By 1:00 PM most of the snow had melted ( #13 green)

Firewood for Delivery

Seasoned firewood is now available for delivery.  $90/ face cord stacked and delivered.  Email me to set up a date and time.