Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Contamination Removal and New Sod

You may have noticed small areas of new turf installed on a few greens on the course and our practice putting green over the last couple weeks.  We are currently in the process of removing small patches of an off-type bermudagrass from our putting surfaces.  These small areas should heal in over the next few weeks and they should not be detrimental to our playing conditions. The greens that have been affected the most is hole 9 and the practice putting green with just a few spots here and there on holes 1,2,3,5,6 and 7. This off type variety was either brought in with our original sprigs during construction or they are the result of a genetic mutation that has occurred since being planted  Our putting surfaces were planted with a variety of bermudagrass known as Tifdwarf bermudagrass that originated from a 1 year old certified source which was established from the foundation stock in Tifton, GA.  This variety has been the predominant turfgrasses used over the last 30-40 years for putting greens in our region prior to the introduction of newer varieties over the past 10 years.  Historically one of the major negatives of Tifdwarf is that there was a problem finding genetically pure sources and/or this variety is susceptible to genetic mutations.  This issue has been researched and debated as to what causes this problem with out a clear definite answer. Regardless of whether it is a contamination brought in with the original sprigs during installation or just a mutation, the proper course of action is to replace the small areas with new plugs from our nursery and to continue monitoring and replacing any new areas.  These small spots started to become noticeable 3-4 years ago and the number of spots have remained relatively the same, so I am hopeful once we remove these patches the development of any new spots will be minimal.  The majority of our putting surfaces are still very genetically pure with only a few having some small patches of turfgrass with a more yellow color compared to the Tifdwarf.  This off type has not had a negative impact on our playing conditions yet so right now it is a cosmetic issue.  But if we were to leave these patches alone they would continue to expand and become worse from one year to the next.  This would eventually result in a more inconsistent playing surface forcing us to renovate our greens complexes earlier than we would prefer.

Small off type patches marked with yellow paint on the putting green.

Plugged area after contamination has been removed

This week we are also very busy improving the course.  We will be installing 22 pallets of new sod this Wednesday to strategic areas around the course.  These areas will need to remain wet over the next couple of weeks while the new sod establishes itself, so please drive with care around these areas and pay attention to our ropes and signs.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Soil Reliever and DryJect Application Update 6-15-11 (Greens are playing Great!)

We completed our cultivation practices on our putting greens this past Monday and Tuesday.  The Soil Reliever impacted our root zone to a depth of 8".  This cultivation breaks through any layers that may have formed deeper in the root zone, promotes deeper rooting and effectively loosen the soil prior to the DryJect application that is to follow.

Photo of the Soil Reliever  1/4" tines used this past Monday.
Below is a video of the Soil Reliever in action.

We then followed up with our DryJect application.

By scheduling the DryJect application immediately after the Soil Reliever we were able to inject our sand amendment deeper into our root zone.  Prior applications had been penetrating consistently to 4" and this weeks application we were consistently in the 5+ " range.

Plug sample taken from 7 green showing the depth of penetration.
And of course the best news to our customers is that after doing all this our greens are still putting great!  So come on out and take advantage of all this dry weather!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Time for our next Dryject Application on June 13th, 2011

Next week we will perform our second and last DryJect application for the year.  This time we will be amending the soil with a mixture of 80% sand, 10% zeolite and 10% gypsum.  I have increased the amount of gypsum to help combat the buildup of sodium in our soil based on recent soil tests.  Along with the increased rate of gypsum we will also needle tine aerate the greens to a depth of 8" using a Soil Reliever.  This will promote deeper rooting of our greens and also allow for greater penetration of the amendments being injected by the DryJect machine. These cultivation practices are very beneficial to our putting green complexes while also providing excellent playing surfaces immediately afterwards. I will update this article next week once the cultivation practice is completed. 

Below is a nice video produced by Mark Patterson with Dryject of Florida from earlier this spring.