#12 @ Wild Horse

#12 @ Wild Horse

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Aerification Already

We will start aerating fairways this Sunday.  We try to accomplish as much of this at night to minimize the effect on play and to finish in the shortest time possible to return the course to "normal."

"Isn't that early to aerate?"  is the question I often get and yes it is but we do it for a couple of reasons.  First my staff is still at full capacity to get this large task done quickly.  Secondly, by this time of summer the fairways are usually in need of some air and water infiltration.  So while it may be a little warm to perform this task it has actually worked quite well for us.  Our turf seems to perk up a little bit after this practice and recovers quicker than it would if done later in the fall.

The rest of the fall aeration schedule is as follows:

August 29-30  Greens surrounds

September 6-7  Tees

October 3-4  Greens

Gnarly "Wooga"

We have been blessed with really great weather this summer.  Lots of rain  (nearly 22 inches in the past 4 months) and only a few really hot days.   The course is really looking good considering it is the first of August.   All that rain has prompted lots of "wooga" growth with the bluestems reaching 6 foot in height.  Unfortunately that has made many areas nearly unplayable prompting the question of "why don't we mow it all?"  If we were to mow it all every year we would start changing the composition of the rough from a variety of grass species  to a limited stand of bromes and bluegrasses.  Yes playability would be better short term but over time the stand would actually become thicker and denser without the variety we desire.  So we are carefully selecting areas and timing of mowing to both improve playability  and maintain a desirable pallet of grasses and forbs.  It is a balance between trying to make the rough more playable and keeping it healthy long-term. 

We are done mowing rough for the summer but will do some again late fall to change up our timing of disturbance.  Prairies are best maintained through disturbances that are not done repeatedly year after year during the same time frame.  Random types of disturbance and timing prevents favoring one species over others thereby maintaining good diversity.  We think our plan is sound but in years like this with excess rain the rough will be very difficult.  My best advice is to keep in the short stuff-we spend lots of time grooming that area in hopes you use it!!