Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer Disease Update

Depending on the weather conditions, this can be a tough time of year for disease pressure in our region. A couple of the diseases we are currently seeing on the course are Southern blight and anthracnose.

We've seen Southern blight come in on some of the green surrounds over the past few weeks. We are not currently concerned about the presence of this disease due to its location (in the roughs). We are managing the situation by close monitoring of the progression of the disease, continued overseeding of the affected areas with resistant turf species, and proper irrigation management.

We've also been seeing some anthracnose pressure on a few of the greens (most notably the back right of the first green). Our management of this disease includes fungicide applications every ten to fourteen days, very close monitoring of the progression, as well as cultural practices such as sand top dressing, maintaining a mowing height above .115", and proper irrigation management.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

NCGA Area of Emphasis: Agronomic Principals and Practices

Cultural Practices At Pasatiempo we feel that plant and soil health are the keys to growing great turfgrass, and that proper plant and soil health is achieved primarily through good cultural practices. We aerify greens with 5/8” hollow tines twice a year, and use a Planet Air or bayonet tines every six to eight weeks to relieve soil tension in between spring and fall aerification. Like the greens, we use hollow tines to aerify fairways and tees each spring and fall, and knife tines throughout the rest of the season to break up surface tension and increase water percolation.
Top dressing is done on a light and frequent basis (every two weeks accompanied by a verti-cut) throughout the year on the greens, and we apply sand to the fairways five to six times per year.

Proper fertilization and water management are two of the main contributing factors to our cultural program. We use a “spoon feeding” method of fertilization on greens, tees and fairways, with spray applications scheduled every 10 days on the greens and every 21 days on the fairways and tees. We also conduct several granular organic fertilizer, and soil amendment applications on the fairways and roughs to help build up the biological profile of our soils.

Our views on water management have been discussed at length in previous blog posts, but with our new irrigation system in place we now have the ability to be much more efficient with how we water the golf course. We are now able to put the water where it is needed rather than having to overwater certain areas in order to keep other areas alive. This will have a direct affect on the rest of our cultural program, and will allow us to maintain a firm and fast playing surface while keeping the turf healthy at the same time.

Chemical Use Pasatiempo has been Audubon Certified for over a decade, and therefore we have a major focus on our environmental impact. This is a constant consideration when we evaluate our chemical use. All of our disease management is done on a “spot and treat” basis, and our thresholds are relatively high considering our level of maintenance. Due to our climate we don’t have the intense disease and insect pressure that other areas of the country face; however, we do see fusarium patch in the cool months, and yellow patch, waitea patch, and anthracnose in the warmer season.

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