July 27, 2012 Scouting Report
Three periods of Bentgrass Decline: Soil Temps Hover at 80°, Anthracnose, Pythium, Fairy Ring, Drought, Peter says Turf Field Day and Tim likes Flowers
Chicago/Northern Illinois Update: Derek Settle - DSettle@cdga.org / Weather Blog
As July ends, we've learned a few things that a record-hot-brutal-summer can teach you! It turns our July, 2012 had three periods of bentgrass decline. In Chicago the first of our stressful periods began with the wondrous July 4th weather (a string of 100s pounded a cool humid landscape). Let's not forget the blessed rain! Severe thunderstorms are quite common for the upper midwest in summer and Chicago is wettest in July or August - just flip a coin to see. Quite probably it could be August in 2012...unfortunately. But I digress. Back to physiological decline of creeping bentgrass. It is something that is well documented by plant physiologists by use of controlled growth chambers. They found extended periods of supraoptimal temperatures meant presto - a slow to rapid decline of creeping bentgrass plant health. Soil temperature is key because it directly effects the rootzone environment and roots are not only responsible for water and nutrient uptake, but also other things like production of plant hormones and storage of photosynthetic carbohydrates. Once we realize bentgrass isn't creeping bentwondergrass, pieces of a sometimes confusing summertime puzzle make sense. A newer disease to blame? Nope. Instead the senario is likely: physiological decline predisposes bentgrass to some new and unusual 'diseases' or disorders. However, as was true in other unusual Chicago growing seasons (1988 and 1995) certain cultural practices help greens BIG time. Read on for more physiology...
Click here to view the July 27, 2012 Scouting Report.
Have a wonderful weekend - moderate Sat/Sun temps. Oh, and rest up for the month of August?
Derek Settle, PhD
Director of Turfgrass Program
Timothy A. Sibicky, MS
Manager of Turfgrass Research