Sunday, July 15, 2012

CDGA Weekly Update - July 13, 2012

A few notes from the Biltmore Weather Station:

Rain Totals for the week : 0.23" (0.16" on Sat; 0.07 on Sun)
Rain Total for the last 43 days = 0.75" (ET = 8.09")
Rain Total since May 1 = 3.68" (ET = 12.94")

Forecast for the coming week is minimal rain mid week, highs on Mon, Tue in the upper 90's.

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July 13, 2012 Scouting Report

A 'Cool' Break: Soil T Falls 10°, Record Heat Meant Poa/Bent Physiological Decline, Dry Means Lawns of Straw, Peter's Brown Patch and Tim says Bluegrass

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

Tired. Not just because record heat has entered our supposed cool, humid environment but also because days are long 'at the end of a hose'. It makes sense when you consider +90° or +100° daytime highs versus the biology of a cool-season turfgrass system (poorly adapted to heat). Turf is tired. Just more item is needed to connect the dots. It's a single short sentence, often ambiguously said, "Fine turfgrass maintained for golf courses." It really means, "Intensive, sometimes extreme cultural practices are required to maintain golf greens." When it is record hot, we must adjust to reduce mechanical stress. We know nothing is more stressful than a sharp blade cutting grass and so it all starts there. It's simple, but it requires frequent monitoring and constant adjustment. If we do not, physiological decline of cool-season turf is certain. You see, a natural and gradual midsummer process of starvation (respiration exceeds photosynthesis) always exists. If we ignore it, one hot afternoon might be turf death. But for a break. Grass blades teetering on the edge of photosynthetic life saw a reprieve on Saturday July 6th when Canada blew a breeze our way (July 5th saw 102.6° versus July 10th saw 81.7°).

A very difficult week reversed itself and tired expressions on tanned outdoor faces began to change. The corners of mouths lifted on most superintendents. It was a smile. Still, one of the scariest summer growing seasons continues. When July looks and feels like August, but it's not. What will August look like? Only time will tell, but from my laptop (after I download multitudes of photos at day's end) this summer is no longer so green. Round 2 is about to begin. Here goes something!

Click here to view the July 13, 2012 Scouting Report.

Have a good weekend and nice to see a smile or two again out in the field this past week!

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