Thursday, September 28, 2017

Nematode and Greens update

      If you have played golf in the past 10 day you might have noticed some strange things going on with our greens.  We have multiple double lines across greens and some yellowing and brown areas.  It took us about a week to figure out what was going on.  Our greens have been burned by the nematicide Nimitz.  On 9/11/17 I applied the 3rd and last application of Nimitz to all greens.   We used this product two times before this and had no problems.  I used same rate, same spreader and the same person applying. When the damage started showing up I thought the lines were damage made by our Vibratory Roller.  Then we saw some browning occurring between the lines.  When this started to happen I realized we had turf that was burned.  I immediately thought it was the last Nimitz application the week before.  The lines we were seeing was the wheel tracks from the fertilizer spreader used to put the product down.  After I realized we had burn I sprayed our greens with foliar fertilizer to help them recover.  After 4 days I realized it was not better.  The salesman I purchased the product from came out and took a look at the greens.  He put me in contact with the Territory Manager of ADAMA Mike Daugherty. ADAMA is the company that distributes Nimitz.  After talking to him this was not the first he has heard or seen the product burn.  That did not make me feel any better.  My question was will my greens recover.  In all cases he said greens did recover.  He passed all information I gave him to Gary Custis.  Gary is the Technical Service Manager for ADAMA.  Gary came out Tuesday 9/26/17 and looked at the damage.  He said he did not think it was due to operator error.  I told him this was the 3rd time we used the product and had no problems before.  I also told him we had 10 pails of product.  6 pails had 1 batch # and those came from local Turf supplier.  The other 4 pails had a different batch # and they came directly from the factory.  The last 4 pails are the ones we used for the 3rd application.  I told him I thought something was wrong with the last 4 pails.  He did take a sample of product with him to have it checked.  He told me he thought the greens would recover.  I told him I was worried about 5 greens that were hurt the most.  Greens 3, 10, 11, 12 and 14 have more severe burning.  He still thought they would come back.  I’m not convinced yet they will come back completely.   He also offered to pay for any extra fertility product or trade for other chemicals. We will wait for him to check out if the sample has something wrong with it.  So until we get the greens healed up we are raising height of cut and going to push our greens with fertility to get them back.  Bad news is greens will be much slower than what they should be.  Once greens get back we will lower height and regulate them to keep them growing more evenly and slowly.  I will stay in contact with ADAMA hopefully we can find out what exactly happened here.  I believe something is wrong with the last 4 pails of product we got from the factory.  Too much active ingredient or the product is contaminated.  I am not convinced the product is working on the lance Nematodes in our greens.  Thankfully the weather has cooled back off and we are going to have some good bentgrass growing weather for the next 2 weeks. This has been a real blow to me and my staff.  The greens were in good shape except for the spots we had from nematode damage.  We will recover from this.  Hopefully in couple weeks it will be distant memory.

overlap burn
close up of burn
Tire marks

Monday, September 18, 2017

Driving Range

It is getting close to that time of year we need to be thinking about closing the grass tee and moving to our mat on the Driving Range.  Here is a great video from the USGA on this topic.  It also talks about the proper way to take divots from our practice tee.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Fall Aerification

     We  completed our fall greens aerification yesterday.  I would like to thank my staff for a job well done.  It took 12 people counting myself 2 days to get this important cultural practice done.  I have a very good crew that works very hard.  So here we go in alphabetical order Thank You, Connor, Dan, Duane, Kaley, Ken, Kyle, Larry, Mike, Nick, Rob, and Tim.
     Aerating greens is a very labor intensive task that must be done if you want good greens.  We are removing thatch and allowing Oxygen to get into the root zone and CO2 to escape the root zone.  It also allows water to flow freely into the root zone.  I can talk about the health benefits of aeration  which I have done many times before.  Lets talk numbers.  You already have one number 12, 12 people to get this job done.  Our Toro Pro Core aerator punched 81 holes per sq. ft. That converts to 81,000 holes per 1000 ft. sq.  We have 88,000 sq. ft. of greens.  That means we punch a grand total of 7,128,000 holes.  My operator that ran the aerifier walked over 5 miles.  We used 80,000 lbs. of sand to fill up the holes left by the aerator. We applied 500 lbs. of Organic fertilizer to our greens.  I could keep going put I think I gave you enough info.  We punched a lot of holes and it takes 9 people to clean up the greens after they have been punched one person to apply the sand to the greens 1 person to brush sand into the holes and one person (myself) to apply fertilizer change cup and make sure everything is running as smoothly as it can.
     Our greens love aerification.  All the aeration holes we made will be gone in about 1 week.  The root system of the greens will seek out the aeration holes.  This makes our greens healthy and stronger.  It is a win win for the greens and the golfer.  Greens will not be mowed until next week.  We will be brushing and rolling greens.  By the end of next week greens will be back.  Sorry for your inconvenience at this time.

 We double verticut before aeration
After verticut
Aerating green
Cleaning up cores
Blowing off greens after picking up cores
Applying sand
 Dragging sand into open holes

Monday, August 28, 2017

Bermuda grass eradication update

Brown area is the Bermuda grass being hurt by herbicide.  Dark green area is the
Zoysia grass.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Nematode update

     I was hoping I had good new concerning the nematode problem we have been dealing with the last few years.  I have been using a newer nematicide called Nimitz to control the Lance nematodes we have in our greens.  After 2 applications we still have damage from the nematode.  I ran a test on one of the thin areas and Lance nematodes were 5 times over the threshold.  Dr. Miller from University of Missouri said he has not seen any samples that high.  So it looks like the new product is not working.  The good news is days are getting shorter and temperatures are not as hot.  We should get through the rest of the season with minimal damage.  We have 10 greens with some sort of damage.  The round patches dying is where the nematode counts are the most severe.  I do have one more application of Nimitz to apply.  I can only hope we get some sort of control from it.  We will put it down after we aerate greens in 2 week.  The greens I applied Nemacur to are doing much better than the greens that did not get any.  Greens 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, all got Nemacur, with holes 4, 5, and 11 getting two apps of Nemacur.  Nemacur is no longer available and I do not have anymore.  Going forward we will be using a product called Nortica this fall and next spring.  Nortica is a Bacteria that protects the roots from Nematodes. It does not kill the nematode It keeps them from feeding on the roots.  All trials have been very good from the University of Florida.  Dr. Crow said it does work.  It is a preventative control and has to be applied before you have problems.  Dr. Crow also has a new trial out on Lance nematode control.  Hopefully we get a new nematicide out the trial that will control this pest.

 # 16 green
# 14 green

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Busy Busy Busy

     August came in and the temperatures dropped. My staff and our greens were very glad to see the cooler temps. Before the cooler weather arrived we solid tine all of our greens.  This helps our greens get through hot and wet summer stress periods.  We started using our Aerway to aerate our fairways.  The Aerway cuts a 7 inch deep slit.  We have 3 holes left to get done.  Rain the last week has slowed down our progress. Next week we will be over seeding all of our greens with Pure Distinction bentgrass.  This is the newest generation of bentgrass seed.  We over seeded last year 3 times.  I hope to over seed this year 2 times.  We are also gearing up to start over seeding our roughs.  This takes about 2 months to complete.  We will be over seeding turf type tall fescue and bluegrass into all of our roughs.  We have started to work on the big oak tree that fell across the fence on hole # 12.  I hope to have it cleaned up by the end of next week.   Lastly we will be doing fall green aerification the Tuesday and Wednesday after Labor day,  9/5/17 and 9/6/17. I will have a little more on aerification later.  The golf course is in good shape I hope you can come on out and enjoy the course.

Nick using aerator to solid tine greens

 This is our Aerway
Fairway after Aerway.

Tee Leveling update

     All laser leveled tees are open. 1 white, 4 red/gold, 7 white, 7 blue/black, 10 red/gold, 14 black, and 15 white.  They have turned out great.  We now have a lot more square footage of teeing area to hit from.  We still need to do a lot of topdressing to smooth them out.  They will be a little uneven for a few months.  By next season they should be just like the other tees.

The first group to hit off new level black tee # 7