May Issue of Clippings
Notes from the Anthem Greens Committee
The Anthem Greens Committee met on May 2nd, 2016 at the Ironwood Clubhouse. Here are the highlights of our discussions.
Transition took center stage in our discussions this month.
We are currently in transition between the dormant period (mid December to late March) and the start of the summer growing season (mid June).
During this transition, the Bermuda grass gains color, but shows very little actual growth, while the winter Rye and invasive grasses such as Poa, grow very rapidly. So until the Bermuda gets to point where it can take over, we engage in agronomic activities designed accomplish two things:
• Encourage the Bermuda to grow and retard the growth of other grasses• Get a head start on summer by laying sod to repair winter damage
Persimmon.On Persimmon fairways it’s a balancing act between overseeded areas that are now growing and the still dormant Bermuda lying underneath. We will ultimately spray out the Ryegrass, using a product that will also remove Poa and other invasive grasses, but to maintain playable fairways, we need to hold off spraying them until we are confident conditions are right for the Bermuda to rapidly take over. In the meantime, we have lowered fairway cuts to advantage the Bermuda lying beneath the winter ryegrass and are sodding areas damaged by compaction this winter The sod is non-overseeded Bermuda and while it’s not warm enough yet for the construction to repair itself, conditions are good enough for us to get sod down, so when growing conditions are optimal, the sod will be in place and ready to knit together with the existing turf.
Roughs on Persimmon are starting to show color and as we are watering to encourage the Bermuda to grow, invasive grasses are also stimulated. We are in the process of spraying them out, but until the chemicals take hold you may see some healthy patches of Poa in Persimmon’s roughs.
Other current activity includes spot-aerifying and top-dressing compacted areas where cart traffic is constricted. This is done to prepare these compacted turf areas with good oxygenation and drainage for the growing season.
Our new Mini-Verde greens are not quite ready for aerification. They need to increase their growth rate first, so they can rapidly repair from the plugging and sanding process. Timing on this is early June.
You might also notice some areas, like the hillside next to #6 green, where the turf looks like it’s disappearing. This is due to the trees at the top of the hill, planted seventeen years ago, that are now so large they win the competition for water with the surrounding turf. This is complicated during the winter season, when with dormant turf conditions, we cut back on irrigation. With little water available, the trees take it all, leaving nothing for the turf grass. We are currently surveying these areas on Persimmon and will be thinning stands of trees that have grown too large and are now severely damaging our turf.
Ironwood.Ironwood’s fairways are showing good color and a small amount of growth. Without a Ryegrass overseed, the turf will easily transition to the growing season with the help of added irrigation, fertilizers and warm summer temperatures. We are sodding compaction damage like we are at Persimmon and spot aerifying and top-dressing areas with excessive wear to promote growth when warmer temperatures stimulate the Bermuda.
As we are doing on Persimmon, we are lowering mowing heights on Ironwood’s overseeded areas to help the underlying Bermuda respond quickly with the onset of higher temperatures.
We will be spraying out Ironwood’s roughs to remove the Ryegrass overseed and at the same time kill unwanted grasses like Poa, from both roughs and fairways.
With increased irrigation to promote Bermuda growth, Ironwood’s greenside bunkers have become more compacted than we like them to be. To solve this we are changing the tines used to prepare the bunkers for play every day. Because of our Billy Bunker liners, we need to be careful not to damage them by being too aggressive with our maintenance, but we think the new tine depth will do the trick.
As opposed to Persimmon’s Mini-Verde greens, Ironwood’s Bent grass greens are already responding to the nice weather and have been sodded in places to remove invasive grasses. They are due for aerification and top-dressing in May and will repair quickly following the work. This is done to remove thatch, thereby increasing oxygen penetration to the roots and promoting drainage of water through the entire plant.
Ponds on Ironwood are also responding to spring temperatures, but with rapid growth of algae. We are staying on top of it with chemical applications to eliminate the algae blooms and the odors associated with them. And if you were wondering why the lakes are at such a low level right now, we are doing our annual drain checks and will be raising water levels shortly.
That’s the latest from the Anthem Greens Committee. Thank-you for your continuing support. Questions, or comments? Contact us directly by clicking here: email@example.com