Thursday, June 30, 2011

What is the white foam?

If you have played golf early in the morning you might see white foam on the greens, tees or fairways.  The foam is used when spraying to help the operator know where he has been.  Depending on the thickness of the foam and weather conditions, the foam can last from a few minutes to over an hour.  The foam is harmless.
If you look closely on the right side of the picture, you can see the white foam that is left behind by the sprayer so that the operator can see where he has been.

#14 Pond - the frogs are happy

#14 pond has been an issue for many years.  The pond was dug long ago to help with drainage (as the story goes), however any pond in the middle of a peat bog will eventually return to a bog.  We have looked into installing aerators but the pond is not deep enough.  Dredging was tried a few years ago but also failed because the peat in this area is about 20-30' deep and the banks start caving in. Chemical control is also difficult due to the amount of organic matter (peat) and  as a result chemicals would be short lived at best.  We are continuing to look for ways to improve the aesthetics of the pond, but eventually cattails and lily pads will cover most of the pond.

A Great Blue Heron walks across the pond on #14 in search of frogs.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Grasses in bloom

This morning I took a the pictures shown below.  Some of the grasses are now in bloom and setting seed.  This past weekend has been some great weather!  Rain is expected on Monday, followed by summer like temperatures towards the end of the week.

Grasses behind #15 tee - makes a nice background on your desktop! (click to enlarge).



CDGA Weekly Update - June 24

June 24, 2011 Scouting Report
A Wild Week of Weather: A 90+ Degree Day, Significant Wind Injury Hits Chicago, New x 3 (Anthracnose, Brown Patch, Pythium Blight), Japanese Beetles in Central IL, Dollar Spot and Spenophorus Catches Tim's Eye

Chicago/Northern Illinois Update: Derek Settle - DSettle@cdga.org/Weather Blog

Not a good week. We endured a bad storm with winds of 70-80 mph this week and it put Chicago's weather on national news. For more photos and information about the storm see http://blog.chicagoweathercenter.com/. As you can see my introductory list of current disease issues has quickly grown. It means we've crossed the threshold into summer, and this one has already been especially challenging. We've only experienced four days of summer so far and its hard to keep up with new reports. Fluctuating temperatures are met with overly humid environment. This week it meant violent thunderstorms and for me diagnosis of three new diseases - anthracnose basal stem rot, brown patch, and Pythium blight. Fluctuating? On Tuesday the predicted high for Chicago was in the 90s and Sunshine Course in Lemont recorded 91 degrees. By Thursday and Friday our highs were just barely breaking 70 degrees.

Some Chicago courses were closed on Wednesday and power-outages meant the windy city would slow (traffic lights out everywhere). Courses who were littered with debris across entire fairways reported their clean-up was complete by Friday. How these guys do it I do not know.

Click here to view the June 24, 2011 Scouting Report.

Have a good weekend...next week we'll have shorts on again.

Derek Settle, PhD
Director of Turfgrass Program
630-685-2307
dsettle@cdga.org
Weather Blog

Timothy A. Sibicky, MS
Manager of Turfgrass Research
630-685-2310
tsibicky@cdga.org
Research Blog

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Snaping Turtle

A snapping turtle was found traveling across #14 fairway on his (or her) way to #14 pond.  This time of year turtles are commonly seen on land as the females search for a place to lay their eggs.
A close up of a snapping turtle as it headed towards #14 pond (click picture to enlarge, if you dare).




Snapping turtles may look slow, but watch out as their bite is pretty quick.


Monday Projects

Yesterday we were afraid that we might not be able to veritcut, topdress and drag the greens because of rain.  But the rain held off and we were able to finish the work.  This process helps to smooth the greens.

Verticutting the green - this is done in two directions.

After the sand is added, it is then dragged into the green.  This year we are trying an idea that a nearby Supt had by using a pull behind drag.

Edging bunkers


Sunday, June 19, 2011

CDGA Weekly Update - June 17

June 17, 2011 Scouting Report
Summer Starts Next Week: Temperatures Become Normal, Signs of Fairy Ring, High Soil Moisture Impacts Weather, Peter Likes Bluegrass Cadillacs, and Tim Says Kingpin, CY-2, and Memorial

Chicago/Northern Illinois Update: Derek Settle - DSettle@cdga.org/Weather Blog

We've had a pretty good week as far as turfgrass health goes. A large rain event occurred on Wednesday and totals across Chicago's south suburbs were more than we needed (again). The 1.6 inch deluge in Lemont made me worry a bit, but the rest of the week we continued a drying trend. I had forgotten to keep my world in perspective and Chicago's northsiders were without last week's floods. Unlike 'saturated us' they had begun to experience drought stress. How about other parts of the country? Another season of weird weather patterns remains the norm. Texas and Kansas are seeing record heat accompanied with volitile storms. The upper Midwest continues to experience periodic flooding and temperatures haven't been normal until this week.

What else? We've begun to experience low humidity levels (30-50%) each afternoon - a new pattern as we segway into summer. Midday wilt stress has begun to impact golf green surfaces, especially those that are predominantly Poa annua. Anthracnose basal stem rot may soon be in our neighborhood because wilt is the major trigger. Other than that, Japanese tree lilacs are in full white bloom on every street corner. Summer officially begins next Tuesday and we're ready.

Click here to view the June 17, 2011 Scouting Report.

Have a good weekend and enjoy Father's Day.

Derek Settle, PhD
Director of Turfgrass Program
630-685-2307
dsettle@cdga.org
Weather Blog

Timothy A. Sibicky, MS
Manager of Turfgrass Research
630-685-2310
tsibicky@cdga.org
Research Blog

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The weather people were wrong again

The forecast was for t-storms and heavy rain - but nothing on the radar this morning.  The course is looking great and Monday we will be verticutting and topdressing greens (more on that next week).  The sod installed last fall around the greens is filling in nicely and the new drainage in the greens has really helped during the wet times this spring. Enjoy the day!
#13 green - the new sod has filled in nicely.


Red Tailed Hawk watching over #6 green. (click picture to enlarge)




Thursday, June 16, 2011

Don't forget to set the parking brake....

Yesterday a golf cart rolled down the hill on #13 and into the creek.  It is a good reminder, to be sure to set the parking brake on carts before getting out.  The cart was pulled from the creek and no damage was reported.
Preparing to pull the cart from the creek on #13.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cottony Scale on Silver Maples

Cottony Scale has been an issue on the Silver Maples the last few years.  It is thought that mosquito control can kill the natural enemies (small parasitic wasps). Small outbreaks will not kill the tree but do produce honey dew.  We will be monitoring the scale population and if warranted apply an insecticide however they are difficult to control.
Egg cases of the Cottony Scale on Silver Maple.  In a few weeks they will hatch and begin sucking sap from the tree (click picture to enlarge)

Creek on #15

This past week we finished putting about 150 tons of lime stone at the base of the retaining walls by the creek on #15.  These walls had begun to shift from the bottom.  The stone will help to hold the base of the walls in place.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

CDGA Weekly Update - June 10

une 10, 2011 Scouting Report
Hot then we Flood: Counting +90° Days, Dollar Spot Impresses Me, Peter Sees Flowers, and Tim says W. circinata var. circinata (again)

Chicago/Northern Illinois Update: Derek Settle - DSettle@cdga.org/Weather Blog

More flooding? We are weary of an early warm-up each growing season because we know those temperatures are more than cool-season turfgrasses can take for long. However, a silver-lining was in the forecast this week - a dramatic drop in temperatures would take place and turf managers in Illinois were comforted. As it would turn out I was miles away preparing to speak to a group of turfgrass scientists in Fort Collins, Colo. That night, Thursday, I received an important update via email. I asked about the weather and the response was not good. "Romeoville/Lemont got hit hardest 5+ inches. Better check in at Golf House!" The irony for me was that earlier in the day the good professor from Arizona had taught us that a water shortage existed in many regions. His phrase "dry socks" illustrated the predicament of the western United States. In my introduction the next day I would say "Wet socks!" Each season, significant weather events are recorded (and memorized) as they directly impact growing conditions. Flooding on June 9 is already an important event for Chicago weathermen. Likely it will become an important date for those of us who keep plant health records. To be continued...

Click here to view the June 10, 2011 Scouting Report.

Have a "dry sock" weekend if possible.

Derek Settle, PhD
Director of Turfgrass Program
630-685-2307
dsettle@cdga.org
Weather Blog

Timothy A. Sibicky, MS
Manager of Turfgrass Research
630-685-2310
tsibicky@cdga.org
Research Blog

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Birds are back!

The other day I came across a Cedar Waxwing what appeared to be sleeping in the grass.  After taking a few pictures, he jumped up and few away.  There have been flocks of Cedar Waxwings around the course as of late.  I have also noticed the hummingbirds have returned and bluebirds have set up nests in several of the bird houses around the course.

Cedar Waxwing taking a rest in the grass.

Bluebird standing watch over his house near #7 tee.


Rough height goes down

This spring the rough had been thick and very healthy.  We were cutting the rough at 2.5", but it was just too thick and playing was not enjoyable for the vast majority of the members.  Yesterday all of the rough mowers were set at 2".  In about 2-3 days all of the grass will be cut at the new height.  With the heat, the rough may turn brown and thin.  The normal growth cycle of grasses in our area is a flush of growth in the spring, tapering off during the summer and a slight increase in the fall.  The last few years we have been cutting the rough at 2” and we went to 2.5” to increase the health of the turf, seemed to have worked to good.

Rough going from 2.5" to 2", the grass may go off color for awhile and thin.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Poppies and Baptisia

Below are pictures I took this morning of the poppies (red flowers) and baptisia  plants located between #11 and #13 fairways.   Baptisia (blue flowers) was named the perennial plant of the year in 2010.
 

CDGA Weekly Update - June 3

June 3, 2011 Scouting Report
It's June: Another Holiday Flood?, Melting-out of KBG, Waitea Wows, Dollar Spot Progresses, Peter Likes Tall Fescue, and Tim says W. circinata var. circinata

Chicago/Northern Illinois Update: Derek Settle - DSettle@cdga.org/Weather Blog

Summer? This growing season now quickly feels like summer - though officially it's still spring. When you watch experienced superintendents and plantsmen, you begin to understand why their planning and preparation is so essential. Once the season begins, it moves quickly. It reminds me of a big locomotive with energy and motion that cannot slow or stop quickly. Our season of rapid growth has begun. First, Kentucky bluegrass began to thicken roughs to golfer delight. Second, our biggest issue of this spring goes away - red-purple bentgrass is now green. Then, our usual problems associated with warmer temperatures are back - Waitea, dollar spot, and melting-out of Poa. Up next, the scattered and sometimes volatile thunderstorms of summer mean you might just flood. Finally, we watch our average soil temperatures cross 70° F at 2 inches and this means optimal root growth for cool-season turf is soon to be, if not already, over.

For the experienced who live a life tending golf courses it's just another season - the rhythm of which begins early each morning and ends by the afternoon (when all goes as planned). So far, it has been good health-wise for turf (we've experienced few pest issues during winter and spring). Now, we need some good old-fashioned dry weather (not too dry) so rounds and rounds of golf can be played. I think we've turned the corner and it's about to happen. I can feel it. Can you?

Click here to view the June 3, 2011 Scouting Report.

Enjoy the weekend...it feels like summer.

Derek Settle, PhD
Director of Turfgrass Program
630-685-2307
dsettle@cdga.org
Weather Blog

Timothy A. Sibicky, MS
Manager of Turfgrass Research
630-685-2310
tsibicky@cdga.org
Research Blog

Friday, June 3, 2011

Waitea and Poa seedheads make their debut

This is the time when poa seedheads begin to peak.  As much as we try to suppress them, it is very difficult due to the many different cultivars of poa.  Some are not as affected by the growth regulators used for control.  Seedheads will make the greens bumpy, especially in the late afternoon.  Seedheads elongate faster than the growth of the turf causing the bumps.  Bent grass does not produce seeds at green height and is one more reason why we prefer bent over Poa.  Waitea is also becoming very active and infects poa plants.  It makes small yellow rings (the size of a salad plate). It can infect poa at green, tee and color height of cut. On #15 green the CDGA is conducting research for the best methods for control and you can see some areas that are completely covered, while other areas mostly clean of the disease.  This research is helping us to better manage the disease in the most economically and environmental way possible. This spring many local courses are have issues with Waitea and poa seed heads.
 #15 green showing Waitea affecting Poa in the test CDGA teat area.  It is mainly a cosmetic disease and usually does not affect ball roll or long term health of the turf.  Click picture to enlarge.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

May Temperatures and Rainfall Amounts

 
Below are the May rainfall totals and temperatures.  We received a total of 6.18" of rain with 5" of that coming in the last 10 days of the month.  Click charts to enlarge.