August 3, 2012 Scouting Report
Goodbye July: Weakened Greens, Shallow Roots, 1st Summer Patch, Brown Patch and Dollar Spot Return, Peter says Badgers, Tim's New Fairy Ring Project
Chicago/Northern Illinois Update: Derek Settle - DSettle@cdga.org / Weather Blog
As we enter August, 2012 a choral breath of relief was heard. July had ended having broken records (super hot and super dry). Some things we already knew but others we would learn and relearn. It is actually three summer seasons in a row that went beyond the norm for golf courses. In itself that is an unprecedented fact. Both 2010 and 2011 were hot and humid with unusally ripe conditions for the varied fungal diseases of turf. In 2012 the heat just plain leveled plant physiology and we have yet to see recovery from golf greens, our most intensively managed turf system. A most telling quote of the week for me "They're on the edge like most of us this week."
Initially 2012 reminded us of 2005, then it was 1988 or 1995 and finally for some, 75+ years ago. Unusally warm early, then especialy dry and hot, if you happen to live in central or southern Illinois the magnitude of the current heat and drought resembles 1936, something Dr. Bruce Branham researched with turf in mind. In return lessons were hard-earned. On greens we saw our weak and rootless Poa wilt every midday (sometimes twice). We saw physiological decline of creeping bentgrass, especially given limited air movement. We spoke a cautionary note if greens were "vented", needletine aeration was surprisingly and suddenly too aggressive. A green's fact of life spoke volumes. Fewer and fewer roots held surfaces down for routine/beneficial plant health practices. Please be aware roots in Illinois have yet to recover in 2012. We are waiting...
Click here to view the August 3, 2012 Scouting Report.
Have a good weekend and next week's forecast 80s/60s is just plain good!
Derek Settle, PhD
Director of Turfgrass Program
Timothy A. Sibicky, MS
Manager of Turfgrass Research