October 5, 2012 Scouting Report
Fall Color Says Pow, Pow, Pow: Coldest Night in 7 Months, Chicago's Turf Very Healthy, Dollar Spot Fires Up (briefly) and Tim talks Poa Control?
Chicago/Northern Illinois Update: Derek Settle - DSettle@cdga.org / Weather Blog
Wait a minute, how did THAT happen so fast? It's October. Well it happened and just to show you...on Thursday of this week we lost something like 27 degrees in 6 hours - from 80° at 2 pm to near 50° by 8 pm. Friday morning it hit me when I found myself in Naperville at a couple of courses unprepared - two light jackets didn't cut it. This growing season suddenly seems striking in it's contrast of 'degrees' in just a few months. As far as pest 'issues' and things of plant health, very few now exist given nighttime lows are rhythmically falling to the 40s. The bigger issue at hand is a realization that we continue to be way behind on annual rainfall and current lake level information is the perfect illustrator. Versus the same time a year ago, the Great Lakes tell the 2012 story of drought (Superior -2", Ontario -11", Huron -13", Michigan -13" and Erie -17"). Besides Lake Michigan being down 13 inches from a year ago, drought is serious because it also effects needed soil moisture reserves for crops and the landscape and this can last into the next growing season (e.g., the severe drought of 1988 meant 1989's growing season was also negatively affected).
Currently we are holding our heads up more and more. Not just because we did a good job in season 2012. Ha! Mainly it is because the canopy of the landscape has begun to change rapidly. Talk about nice fall color. White ashes are a reddish burgundy purple and green ashes are golden. A group of honeylocusts today... I found myself forming the word "electric".
Click here to view the October 5, 2012 Scouting Report.
Have a good weekend and don't forget to put on your 'good' jacket!
Derek Settle, PhD
Director of Turfgrass Program
Timothy A. Sibicky, MS
Manager of Turfgrass Research