Beating the Heat!

Blog Post By: Craig McKinley

July has come and gone, and our turf, as well as our staff, have been battling the hot stretch that we have been experiencing. Our dry spell from May to the beginning of July has been replaced with a lot of rain, along with hot and humid weather. I would like to reference a quote from another area Superintendent on Twitter, which I feel really sums up growing grass this time of year:

 “We are headed into the stretch where if you don’t water enough you will kill it, and if you water too much you will kill it.”

Water is a great conductor of heat, and if soil is saturated, it will warm with the daytime temperatures, but then is unable to release that heat during the nighttime hours. With lows in the 70’s and highs in the 90’s, there is never a chance for the soil to cool down to the actual evening lows. When this happens, the turf roots will “cook” and begin to retreat upward. With this humidity and the high evening temperatures, there is also an increased disease pressure that comes into the fold.

Below, is a great example of Brown Patch. We do not preventatively spray for Brown Patch, as it takes a special kind of weather for it to show itself. However, the past week of 90 degree days and 70 degree nights, coupled with high humidity and rain, is perfect Brown Patch weather. While a fungicide application has been made to remedy the situation, we go out of our way to not self-induce this kind of disease. This is done by keeping things as dry as Mother-Nature will allow and not over fertilizing, which has proven to be quite successful in keeping it away. 

To “beat the heat” we also try to minimize the amount of stress that greens go through this time of year. By tweaking a few practices, it allows us to continue our weekly greens program with less traffic. For example, instead of using our tow-behind brush to work topdressing sand into the canopy, we have rigged-up an old driving range mat to drag sand in. This mat is softer and much less aggressive than the stiffer brush bristles.

On a non-weather related note, our staff has recently reclaimed the flower bed next to the new Championship Tee Box on our 16th hole. They put a lot of effort into it, and it really does show!

As always, we hope to see you on the golf course soon or enjoying a delicious meal at the Quarry Grill. Have a great day and don't forget to fix your ball marks. 

Posted by admin at Aug 01, 2016 Category: August 2016
Tags: Bucks Run Golf Club, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, Golf, Heat, Brown Patch, Flower Bed