The Majority of the Turf Has Come Back

In the last several days we have seen a significant amount of rain at the London Hunt and Country Club and yesterday, ONturf’s post referenced the recent rains and turf recovery. Read the full post below.

There has been widespread rain over the past week for most regions of the province. As a result, most turf areas have greened up surprisingly quickly and thoroughly. It is estimated that 90% of the turf that was dormant is actively growing again. It is refreshing to know that the rules of thumb that we work with have held where turf and dormancy is concerned. Turfgrass specialists estimate that turf can go 4-6 weeks without significant rainfall and still survive. In many areas of Ontario we were reaching that mark by the time the rains finally came. 

What about the turf that isn’t coming back? There are several reasons why turf might not be coming back. Some of those reasons are:

  • insect damage (bluegrass billbug or hairy chinch bug damage)
  • south facing slopes or other areas that are prone to water runoff
  • dormant turf that was heavily trafficked
  • turf growing on very light textured soils (sand)
  • new seedings (areas that were seeded last fall)
  • immature sod (areas that were sodded last fall)

What can you do with those areas of dead turf? Now is a good time to seed those damaged areas. Mow the turf a bit lower than normal and rake the dead areas. You can select grasses to match your current turf or use this as an opportunity to chose a different species to improve the performance of the turf you already have. The link below outlines some of the grass species mixtures for a variety of conditions (sun, shade, irrigated, un-irrigated).

Summer Aeration and Interseeding

The following is a photo summary of our summer aeration process that took place this past Sunday and Monday.

  1. Quad-tine aeration performed to all green and collar surfaces removing approximately 70 cores per square foot using .250 inch hollow tines.  ( 3,045,000 holes per acre )
  2. T1 creeping bentgrass drop seeded into the shallow aeration holes. (348,000,000 seeds per acre)
  3. Seed brushed into holes and then cores blown and removed by hand.
  4. All greens rolled smooth, fertilized, topdressed, brushed and watered.

The primary goal of the above procedure is to provide an ideal seed bed and growing environment for the new bentgrass seed.  The many micro growth chambers help protect the seedlings from abrasion and traffic stress while providing increased oxygen and water movement into the root zone.

All cultural practices will be carried out in such a way as to minimize the impact to membership with the ultimate goal of providing superior, healthier putting surfaces.