Monday, June 20, 2016

17 Day Later

Over the last 3 days we've really started seeing a change in the fairways. For the past 2 weeks it seems we've been coming in every morning anxious to scout the fairways for signs of growth only to be disappointed by little to no change. However, upon arrival Saturday morning there was a definite and abounding growth from the sprigs on nearly all the fairways.

We have been keeping the soil moisture in the fairways very high to ensure the short roots the sprigs have have plenty of moisture available to them. This has resulted in significantly more push mowing around the course as many of our rough units simply cannot get close to the fairways without damaging turf. We have also been spending a lot of time on repairing our irrigation system. We have out dated Rain Bird Impact heads in our fairways and honestly throughout most of the course. These old 51DR heads work a lot like a home sprinkler you would use in your yard, utilizing a "tail" and "kicker" to turn the head, if the head is to low or not level water builds up on one side and the head can no longer turn, flooding the fairway. The springs and washers also go bad after time causing the head to either not come on, not shut off, or weep when they do turn off forcing the jockey pump to run and putting stress on our system. All this to say is that we've had to spend a lot of time and energy on repairing these heads to ensure adequate water reaches the sprigs. 

Last Monday we put down the first application of Fertilizer. We used Water Soluble Urea (46-0-0) at a half pound of Nitrogen per thousand square feet. I'll admit I was expecting to see an immediate response and was disappointed when there was little of no change. Wednesday we put down a starter fertilizer (12-24-05) which had high Phosphorous levels to help with root growth. We applied one pound of Phosphorous per thousand square feet which also gave us another half pound of nitrogen per thousand. That application was the golden ticket, after receiving nearly an inch of rain between Thursday and Friday the fairways exploded the and the growth was evident just by driving around. 

We followed up today with an Ammonium Sulfate (21-0-0) application at one pound of Nitrogen per thousand square feet. I'm hoping to see them start moving in the next couple days. I'll end with some pictures from the last 2 weeks. 

Peter Danaher 
Assistant Superintendent
Talbot Country Club

8 Days post sprigging, Starting to see new roots. 

13 days in the ground, starting to see growth 
46-0-0 Urea Application

12-24-05 Starter fertilizer, 2 weeks post sprigging

16 days post sprigging, 2 days after starter fertilizer, seeing more growth

What nearly an inch of rain does to us right now 

17 Days post sprigging, sunshine and fertilizer making them grow 

Finally seeing sprigs in almost every slit 

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Sprigs have Arrived!

On Wednesday morning the first load of Latitude 36 sprigs arrived at the course, we spent all of Tuesday pre-pairing for there arrival. The course closed for 2 weeks to complete the sprigging and extensive watering that has to take place afterwards. We are extremely grateful to have a free golf course to complete our management practices without interrupting play.

On Tuesday, we sprayed the third application of roundup on the last 6 Fairways to kill any regrowth that had occurred and then began the process of Aerating the fairways that had already been sprayed. It took me 30 hours to aerate all 22 acres of fairways, beginning Tuesday afternoon and not finishing till Friday morning. While I was going deaf on the tractor the rest of the crew worked very hard all week to keep up with our regular maintenance practices so that when we open back up the course hasn't skipped a beat.

Oakwood Sod Farm supplied the sprigs, machinery, and labor to do the actual sprigging. We went with 1,000 bushels to the acre of sprigs and double crimped them in. The machine would lay all the sprigs with the first pass and then go a different direction doing the second crimp. The end result was lots of soil contact and the sprigs spread evenly over the entire fairway. Jim McHenry and his crew worked very hard and completed the sprigging on time Friday afternoon.

As soon as the "sprigger" left the fairway we sprayed Ronstar Pre-Emergent Herbicide directly on the sprigs and then turned the water on and walked away... Not really but it felt like that! Its very important to make sure the sprigs don't dry out at all once there in the ground. Quick side note, a sprig is sod that has been run thew a machine that chops it up and leaves just the roots and leaf tissue, which when pressed into the ground are free to grow.

I'll leave you with pictures from the last week which details the entire process. This week has been all about water so far and probably will be till the end of the week.

As for the Greens-

Keep it Dry, Keep it Dry, Keep it Dry!

Peter Danaher
Assistant Superintendent
Talbot CC

Aerating, 2x2 spacing, running just under 2mph hour = 30 hours total. 
Finishing up our longest fairway. 
Sprigs going down directly on top of the aeration plugs
The sprigging machine after its first pass, smooths everything out. 

Close up after the first pass 

 Sprigging machine in action 

Spraying fairways with Ronstar to prevent crabgrass and other weeds from germinating

Keeping it wet