You are probably sitting around surfing the net, watching it snow, peeking in on the Masters, and maybe wondering what's up at Wild Horse. The wind and drifts are for sure-8" for us so no golf for awhile. We will let you know when golf can be expected once we can assess the situation. Turf areas will clear quickly but paths will be drifted so walking might be necessary for some time.
So what does the snow mean for us? A definite change in the aerification schedule will be necessary and we will let you know those adjustments when we know.
We worked diligently to finish up fairway aerification and the burn this week before the storm. Some have asked if that is all the burn and yes it is. We wanted to get all of the perimeter done but that takes a perfect day to accomplish. An unfavorable wind prevented us from burning around 10, 11, and 14. Also our crew was wearing down and we didn't want to make a mistake. We have started burning every other year rather than on a 3 year schedule. Such as that is, it is not imperative to get all areas burned each year as we can pick up some the next year. A huge thanks to my crew for their efforts each year to help manage the rough.
The ice damage that we have discussed prior is becoming more apparent as the turf greens up. Whenever you incur damage it is sometimes difficult to determine whether it is best to "sow it or grow it". It is always best in my opinion to grow it if you have enough surviving plants. Why? Because those viable plants will be at least 4-6 weeks ahead of any seedlings that you germinate so there is a huge time advantage by "growing it". That means maximizing growth through extra fertility and limited mowing. Many of our areas like those seen below fall into this category where there are enough surviving bluegrass plants that can fill in to achieve a desirable turf by the end of May. There are fewer areas that incurred complete kills and will be seeded as soon as soil temperatures warm. Those areas will take longer to achieve the density we want but expect them to be complete by the end of June.
A huge inconvenience to you and your game and our mowers is the escalating worm activity seen below. Unfortunately there is no legal chemical control for earthworms. There has been much research on cultural practices that reduce activity but no quantitative results have been achieved. Recently though some products containing saponins derived from mowrah meal, green tea leaves, or seaweed have shown effectiveness at repelling earthworms. We have purchased some of these products and are waiting for a warm spring rain to apply them. Hopefully they work well for us and we can start cleaning up our greens and collars.
Enjoy your Masters weekend.