August 17, 2012 Scouting Report
August Helps Us: Recovery Continues, Still Shallow Roots, Wilt of Golf Greens, Fairy Ring, Summer Patch, Dollar Spot Jumps, and Tim Sees Spots in Plots
Chicago/Northern Illinois Update: Derek Settle - DSettle@cdga.org / Weather Blog
A wondrous forecast came true. So, since August began, soil temperatures have now gradually fallen by about 10 degrees. We are now patiently waiting to see more than just roothairs on roots, normal potential of root length is needed. On golf green surfaces our two turf species are trying but both are still reeling after July. Intense daily turfgrass wear, especially near the hole, isn't helping either. Bentgrass is as shallow rooted as we've seen, 2 to 3 inches deep isn't uncommon. Meanwhile Poa annua is as fragile as it always can be with current roots as shallow as 0.25 to 1 inch. Though I haven't complained often enough about Poa - bentgrass physiological decline got a neon light in 2012 - it doesn't mean we weren't frustrated. Poa's difficulty centers around its lack of temperature extreme tolerance, also known as a genetic inability to maintain robust roots.
Those who maintain greens often say working with Poa is more of an art than that of true plant science (used to make me chafe). However, after last weekend I learned of such art through a single lesson! On a bright cloud-free Saturday afternoon a wilt event would shock Chicago's rootless Poa greens. Humidity levels dropped rapidly requiring immediate midday handwatering. After that Art Institute visit it became clear we were not completely out of the deep end. In 2012 we treaded water longer than usual (March's rapid greenup to now). August has become a good father or mother with an outstreached arm in the pool, a brief rest as we swim in from the deep end.
Click here to view the August 17, 2012 Scouting Report.
Enjoy your weekend during a GREAT August.
Derek Settle, PhD
Director of Turfgrass Program
Timothy A. Sibicky, MS
Manager of Turfgrass Research