Too Much Of A Good Thing

This past weeks rain and overcast weather did the roughs wonder bringing most of it back from dormancy. There are some areas that were taken out by disease that will need overseeding later in the season to get it filled in. But overall I see a vast improvement in the majority of rough areas. We did struggle with keeping up with some of the mowing last week. Mowing fine turf under those conditions risk mechanical damage to the plants which can lead to stress and other problems.

Which leads me to the stress some of the greens came under when the irrigation pump transformer was damaged in the storm on July 3. I mentioned in my last blog about the problem and some areas on the golf course had some wilt on them and I expected a full recovery. Unfortunately that’s not going to happen without some additional inputs from us and some patience from the membership.

If you recall my blogs from last June and July in which we had an irrigation problem and some greens had wilt on them. I explained wilt in detail and showed how 14 green in particular, had recovered nicely in a matter of a few weeks from the wilt damage.This was my expectations for the newly stressed greens.

The recently injured greens appeared to improving as new growth was visible and some of the older leafs turning yellow and dying off, typical of wilt damage. At the end of last week we noticed more leaves turning yellow and a rust/orange color developing down in the turf canopy. I knew that color from 2004, anthracnose!

Anthracnose is a disease that infects weaken annual bluegrass and in extreme cases creeping bentgrass. We battled it on some greens back in 2003 and 2004 and haven’t seen it since. It slowly takes out the leaves and if left unchecked, will spread into the crown of the plants which will lead to death.

We did determine that it was only foliar on the annual bluegrass at this point and we applied a fungicide accordingly. This weeks damp and humid weather caused an additional flare up and has left some thinning areas on #11 and #16 greens. We sprayed again this past Friday along with spiking and overseeding these two greens. To promote recovery, we will be reducing inputs on them, increasing fungicide and fertilizer applications, continue spiking and over seeding, topdressing and carefully monitoring moisture levels. So these greens may play slightly slower than the others or be a bit bumpy at times.

I will keep everyone updated on our progress. Please check the “member’s only” section of the website for daily course conditions.

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