Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Greens Management During a Challenging Time of Year

Since November 15th, Avila has received over an inch of rain in combination with shorter days and cooler temperatures, which are all Mother Nature's way of working against faster greens speeds. Our nighttime temperatures, however, have been relatively warm, and our Champion greens have been elongating their leaf blades in an effort to reach out for more of the sun's energy. The reason that we are not able to aggressively lower our mowing heights to compensate for this is because the recovery rate of the turf is significantly slower at this time of year than during the summer season, and will only continue to slow down as the winter season progresses. At this point in time, our primary focus is to dial in the lowest possible mowing height that will allow us to keep the greens as fast as we can without compensating the quality and overall health of the plant. We will also roll the greens as much as possible to increase speeds and provide a true roll. However, this process is also somewhat of a turf stress, and can only be performed in moderation in order to maintain a healthy turf. Finally, we will be constantly monitoring the greens for the presence of any fungi or diseases, as the shorter days and less intense sunlight provide optimal conditions for their growth. At this time, we have adjusted our fungicide applications to provide preventive control in order to deter the emergence of any diseases, and we will remain vigilant in our efforts to control these diseases before they have a chance to thrive.
Mowing heights on greens were slightly raised this week to reduce stress

Applying a preventive fungicide spray to fight off disease and fungus