Thursday, August 28, 2014

Rain, Rain - go away!

Midway has recorded the wettest summer on record - we have been lucky, in that we have not seen as much rain as Midway, but still to much rain!  To date we have had 11.5" this summer (since June 20th).  It is amazing how variable rainfall rates can be around Chicago.  In the last 7 days we have had 2.5" of rain with a total ET rate of 0.47" - normal ET rate would be about 0.2-0.25" per day, or almost 1.5" over the week.  In the last 7 days: average humidity of 88% with 16.2 hrs/day over 80% and 11.3 hrs/day over 95% on average.

WGN - CLICK picture to enlarge.

This type of weather encourages diseases of plants (turf, flowers and trees).  You may have noticed the flowers around Biltmore (and at your house) don't look so good.  Diseases were very active this past week.  Zinnias and Alyssum are most affected, some of them will come back if the weather turns drier, but some of the plants will die.  Green leaves from Maples have started falling, but typically does not have a long term effect on the trees.  Turf was also affected, but we were busy spraying fungicides to prevent diseases.  However, the rough is not treated - to expensive.  Some areas of the rough may thin, but if the weather improves so will the turf.  We were lucky that our protective sprays have worked on the greens, tees and fairways - at least so far. 

Zinnias do not like wet, humid weather.

Cicada Killer carrying a Cicada back to its nest - look closely!  They like to make their home in the edges of bunkers.  These wasps look intimidating but rarely sting people.  They are a large wasp that paralyzes Cicadas, drags them into the nest (a hole in the bunker face), lays an egg on them (while the Cicada is still alive, but can not move) then in a few days the egg hatches and the larva begins feeding on the still alive Cicada.  Yum, yum!