Bemidji Town & Country Club Online Newsletter - 05/17/13

Spring 2013 Newsletter

My maintenance staff and I would like to welcome you all back to another golfing season at Bemidji Town and Country Club.

By this time I am sure you are all aware that our course has suffered more winter damage this year than it has in most recent years. Superintendents throughout the state were very concerned with the weather patterns this winter and the effects it might have on the turfgrass. The feedback in our industry is that there is widespread damage on poa annua and ryegrass turf throughout the state.

At BTCC, a January 10th rain event formed an ice layer. As most of you are aware, ice on turf is not good. Prolonged ice coverage will cause suffocation and kills the turf. Another winter concern for turfgrass is crown hydration. This is also detrimental to the turf plants. Crown hydration is a quick killing problem that occurs in the spring as the poa annua comes out of dormancy. Crown hydration kills when the plants become active during a spring warm up. The plants absorb water and cold temperatures below 32 degrees freeze the cells within the individual plants. These are the conditions that were prevalent during the first week of May. The turfgrass looked great initially. However, the cold temperatures that followed the snow and ice melt combined with the existing frost in the soil was too much for the poa annua to survive. We lost turf during a 48 hour period during this first week of May.

After the turf was exposed and we determined that crown hydration had occurred we needed to design an action plan to generate recovery to the damaged turf. The first step was applications of soluble nitrogen. We have made two applications of this to help get a jump start in the recovery process. However, with the significance of the damaged turf and the lack of growing weather conditions we must take more aggressive cultural practices. The second step was to meet with the greens committee and communicate the steps and the programs we will take from this point on.

The original plan was to perform spring core aerification June 3rd and 4th. Those dates are typically the time to aerify. As of today, weather permitting we have decided to initiate core aerification next week. The first available day that conditions allow us to aerify we will do so starting with the front nine. The back nine will be done as soon as scheduling and the weather allows us to do so.

Our goal with this process is to create an environment to inter-seed bentgrass into the greens. We will be covering greens #2, #16 and part of the putting green during this process and will provide temporary greens for these holes.

In conclusion, I understand that this is an inconvenience to play, but we ask that you remain patient during this grow-in process. We will keep you updated throughout the process. Feel free to flag me down on the golf course and ask me any question you may have.

BTCC Green Committee
Tom Johanns