Turfgrass Management

turfgrass management Summer weather can be an enormous challenge to your golf course maintenance. The stress on your turf can be brutal- here are some cultural and mechanical tips that can help you survive the summer heat and thrive throughout the year. Conditions can be brutal due to the high heat and humidity we often see. Excessive stress can cause turf decline that can affect playing conditions. Being proactive with your actions can help minimize stress and maximize play.

golf course managementGolf courses are a special animal. On the one hand, it's a sport built in nature, designed to be played on long, emerald fairways. Golfers appreciate the natural elements - the grass, the sand, the water - it is vital to the art of the game. On the other hand, while golfers are dependent on nature to play their sport, they need that nature to be curated and controlled and nature tends to fight back. One of nature's strongest armies are weeds. Course managers are waging constant battle on these persistent threats, often with chemical warfare, which can run contrary to a deep appreciation of nature. But, new research is showing nature may be able to fight itself in the form of fescue.

golf course weed controlNaturalized areas can provide a great complement to a well-groomed course. Whether it's a field of wheatgrass or wildflowers, the stark contrast of intensely managed greens set against of field of native plants can leave quite an impression. I'm not suggesting we just let nature do its thing - which can lead to major weed management issues - but, controlled natural environments will help amp up the experience of your field. Here I outline some recommendations to incorporate native plants into your landscape.

turfgrass consultantTemperatures this week have been a bit... extreme in the Northern US, in case you haven't noticed. There are endless news reports about the impact these temps are having on people, travel, and every other thing, but I can't help but think to Spring and what this dramatic cold snap will do to my clients' courses across the Northeast. While cold weather can do some good, like killing off all the crabgrass, Winter Kill can cause major headaches for turf managers. I thought I'd talk a bit about what it is, how to help prevent it (not this year!), and how to recover from it.

turfgrass consultantA lot of people can get turned off by the term consultant. Sounds like a middle man, an extra step that adds cost to a project that can be avoided with a little research and legwork. But, I assure you,  when it comes to creating a vibrant,  lush golf course, bringing in an expert that uses testing and data to back up recommendations can be an absolutely invaluable move. So just what do I do? 

water quality analysisA perfect golf course is so much more than just lush, healthy turfgrass. It's the balance of grass, sand, water, and the interaction with the surroundings that give you that "this is gonna be a great game" feeling. Rolling up next to a pond covered in green slime infringes upon that feeling. But! You can't just nuke all the plant life in your waters because they contribute to the ecosystem's health. Like so many things in this industry, it's about balance. Here we talk about algae and its role in your ponds. 

turfgrass consultantIf there’s anything I’ve learned in my 30+ years playing or working on golf courses, it’s that I’m never done learning. It’s impossible to know it all, and it’s an industry where change is constant. But, there are a few things I’ve witnessed throughout my time about superintendents and what makes the best ones. Here are a couple of mistakes I’ve seen made that could be the difference between amateur and pro status.

turfgrass managementSulfur is one of those elements that seems simple enough, but I often have conversations about it. Some clients worry about too much, some clients want more. There are a couple of "lanes" people choose on sulfur and once they are in the lane it is hard to get out! I hope this summary on sulfur will help clarify some misconceptions.   With many places that I work, the soils are high pH and often calcareous. I have seen sulfur on soils tests that are so high, you would think it was a sample from a bag of elemental sulfur. Take a look and as I see you in the upcoming weeks, we will have something to chat about.