To ensure our bentgrass greens are properly prepared for the winter, the golf course will close in mid November. An exact date will be determined within the next couple of weeks.
With the temperatures falling, leaf colours changing, and the days getting much shorter, it finally feels like fall. This time of year has its unique set of challenges:
Grasses are physiologically slowing down significantly and not growing as much. There is also less daylight, and some areas can stay in the shade for a good portion of the day (see photo below). Together, these two factors create a surface that is moist and lacking in structure. Damage with equipment and carts can happen easily and quickly. Therefore, in addition to our normal traffic posts, we will also be using stakes and ropes in some weak areas. Please avoid driving through staked areas.
The worms have come out with a vengeance. Usually hot temperatures in the summer help control worm populations. Without those temperatures this summer, there seems to be an abundance of worms, and the mess they are leaving behind is considerable. We are trying a few different techniques to clean the castings, but they are very challenging. Here is a picture of a fairway mower completely clogged up with the mud from the worm castings after traveling only a short distance along a fairway. (see photo below)
Expect frost mornings periodically throughout the balance of the season (see photo below). Frost usually occurs when temperatures drop anywhere below 5ºC and overnight skies are clear. Leaf blades in grasses are composed of 80% water. When temperatures are low enough the water inside the leaf blades and the moisture on the outside of the leaf blades will freeze. If you walk on frost it can rupture the frozen cells and kill the grass. Therefore, it is very important to stay off the golf course when there is frost. In some cases, frost will lift relatively quickly and in other cases it can stick around for hours. It mostly depends on sun exposure and temperature. Please call the Golf Shop on frost mornings for updates.
Have a great weekend.
Andre Aymar, Golf Course Superintendent