Bemidji Town & Country Club Online Newsletter - 4/22/15

Turf Talk Newsletter
Course Update
April generally tends to deliver cool and rainy early spring weather, but this spring has been the opposite. Since we have lost the snow cover about a month ago, we have really only had one or two precipitation events, basically a couple of light snow events. Since then we have had some warm dry, windy days. These factors are very difficult on grass plants as they break dormancy and start growing, spring time turf has a very limited root system with which to take in water, and extended periods of dry conditions puts a large amount of stress on the plants.

Due to the above conditions, last Tuesday I was forced to fire up the course irrigation system. I will make note that this is the earliest I have ever had to do this since I have been the Superintendent at BTCC. My concerns were primarily the fact that due to the lack of snow cover this winter, we had very deep frost levels, 4' to 6' and I was sure a large percentage of the irrigation pipe was surrounded by frozen soil. But I felt I had to do it. The process was about a 2 day event with normal problems we have year to year, which is minor breaks and leaks. BTCC is fortunate that with the sandy soil our course has, we typically do not have nearly the irrigation fire up problems that a lot of other courses have. Through the end of last week I was able to get a fair percentage of moisture to all greens, tees and fairways.

Turf Conditions
As mentioned, as a result of the dry-open winter we had all turf here and throughout Northern Minnesota we have a very brown, tan appearance. This is what we call a desiccated look. This look is not as common in our area as it is out in the Dakota's where it is more open and the wind blows all the time.

As of this writing, I do believe we will have some areas that will need some attention as a result of the winter woes. As we get to the point where we have growing conditions, we will initiate practices to get these areas back to good playing conditions.

I will continue to keep you updated.

Tom Johanns
Golf Course Superintendent