I hope all of you have been enjoying this golfing season. This summer we have had some hot and dry periods as well as cool and wet periods. This weather led to unprecedented disease pressure this season. We made changes to about 75% of our greens’ programs with good results. Lastly, I will start a “Home Lawn Care Tips” section for those who would like to know how to have the best and healthiest lawn on the block!
The year got off to a dry start forcing us to charge up our irrigation system February 13th, the earliest ever! We also had to hand water dry areas in March due to the abnormally dry conditions after a Winter that only produced 19” of snow. Denver receives over 55” of snow on average. Dry conditions occurred again in June and July but we enjoyed a nice cool down the first few weeks in August which helped the turf recover. We are almost average with the rain we have received so far this year.
At the end of July and early August, we had relatively high humidity levels that we are not used to here in Denver. This led to high disease pressure and we saw some diseases on fairways, approaches and roughs that we have not seen for quite some time. These were treated and controlled throughout the end of summer.
Each year, we examine our practices on greens to see what we can do differently to improve the conditions. We evaluated everything we were doing to them this winter such as fertility, amending, sand applied and cultural practices like verticutting and venting. This year, we made a few adjustments in fertility, selecting slightly different products that better met our needs. We also adjusted the frequency of our calcium applications. We have been applying 10 pounds of calcium monthly but we went to applying 5 pounds bi-weekly. The bi-weekly applications should maintain free calcium levels evenly throughout the month. We have also been injecting acid every time we water greens instead of every two weeks. In addition, we have increased the frequency of verticutting and topdressing. This process will not only maintain the health of the turf, but also improve playability. All of these adjustments have lead to better conditions.
We have been preparing all year to transplant 3 large cottonwood trees from a nursery in Hudson, CO with a tree spade for the middle of 10 fairway. The existing cottonwoods have shown a decline in health the last few years and we would like to get some new trees planted in case they do not make it.
HOME LAWN CARE TIPS:
Fertilize: Fall is one of the best times to fertilize your lawn. It has made it through the marathon of the summer and now needs to recover. One way to promote recovery is to provide nutrition that the plant can use to store carbohydrates in the roots and replenish its support system. As the days get cooler and shorter, soil temperatures begin to lower. This indicator tells the turf to start pushing root growth and having plenty of nutrition is essential for turf health.
Reduce irrigation: Shorter days and cooler temps allow you to irrigate less, which forces the turf to push roots deeper. Be diligent about adjusting your irrigation, whether you reduce your “Water Budget” or individual run times. I challenge you to see how long you can go before you have to water! An application of Revive will also help to stretch the time between irrigation cycles and rain events. Revive contains wetting agents that help make water wetter. We utilize throughout the year on the golf course.
We look forward to another great year here at Cherry Creek Country Club!
See you on the course!
Director of Grounds