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Preparing for the Stresses of Summer

Preparing For the Stresses of Summer 

MAY 19, 2014

In preparation for the summer stresses the grass plants need to develop their root systems. While roots store carbohydrates in preparation for summer stresses such as drought, traffic and disease the leaf tissue is the source at which the plant has the ability to do so.  Aeration is first and foremost the leading cultural practice to help develop a healthy plant. This spring our greens aeration was one of the cleanest and best I have ever done. From the start all things went as planned, the staff did a great job with clean up and the weather was ideal to dry the sand before we dragged and filled the holes.  The greens have recovered and healed very well. The moisture from the long winter and wet spring has both helped and hurt to some degree.  On the positive good soil moisture helped with getting the grass plant moving ang taking up valuable early nutrients. The bad is there have been a lot of cart path only days and catch up on our side of maintenance.  One of the most important things to do to manage, during stressful periods is water management.  Spring is important because we want roots to start to go deep in search of water the deeper or longer the root the more nutrients like carbohydrates the plant can store. Summer water management is very critical for plant heath and survival during the summer months.  When temperatures get high with high dew points, 60 degrees and above, the plant starts to go into protection mode.  When dew point and humidity his high the plant stops taking in water. This is when you see our staff lightly watering down the surface; this can cool the turf canopy 5-8 degrees. Over watering during these times can lead to disease and death of grass plants overnight  I have now employed some recently new technology to measure canopy temperature and soil moisture, this will help in determining how much water we need to use on any given area without putting too much down.  There is also the fertility of the soil and the plants ability for uptake nutrients.  We have soil samples taken every spring to determine what our deficiencies are and plan our program.  Proper timing and applications are very important to plant health.  The healthier the plant the more stress it can handle.

For additional details on this process I have provided an article from the USGA below.

I hope to see everyone on the golf course and like always if you have any question about anything please stop me and ask.

Bryan Barrington, GCSAA