Friday, October 28, 2011

Course Update 10/28

I would like to start this update by welcoming all of you playing in the Rudy's I35 Cup. We are excited to host this great event, and hope that you enjoy all of our facilities. Good luck to both teams and we hope to see SA keep the title. The tournament will be held on the South Course beginning today and last through Sunday. There should be some great amateur golf, so come out and root for the home team. This event helps raise money for the First Tee of San Antonio as well as Habitat for Humanity of Austin. For more information click link below.

It was certainly a busy week on both courses. Many of you may have noticed the wet conditions yesterday. We watered both courses heavily Wednesday night in preparation for Thursday's cold front. The added moisture in the ground will provide a buffer to the lower temperatures and protect the grass from the high winds and low humidity which are expected to last through today. The course will certainly be more playable today and through the weekend. 

Throughout October we have been preparing the greens on both courses for Winter. This week was no exception. We slightly raised the mowing heights, topdressed, fertilized, and sprayed both the North and the South. Putting speeds on both courses should pick up a bit with the cooler temperatures expected this weekend. All of the greens are healthy and are ready for winter. If you have not played recently then we encourage you to come out and play either course.

I have been getting a lot of questions regarding fertility and pre-emerge for the home lawn. Fertilizer decisions are best made after looking at a soil test. However there are few simple guidelines that will help you stay on track. For warm season grasses I like to apply phosphorus in the spring, nitrogen in the summer, and potassium in the fall. For example this week the the greens received a combination of soluble potassium nitrate (13.5-0-48) and granular sulfate of potash (KMAG) or 0-0-22. The fairways, tees, and roughs were also received applications of KMAG last week.

Now is the time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide. I suggest using a combination fertilizer and herbicide product. Look for a fertilizer high in potassium such as a 10-0-20, that contains a herbicide such as prodiamine. This particular product can be purchased at Winfield Solutions here in San Antonio. Always use caution when applying pesticides. Follow all label instructions and ensure that your application equipment is properly calibrated. DO NOT APPLY a pre-emergent herbicide if you your yard is severely stressed from the drought or if you are planning to overseed. In addition, use caution around flower beds if you are planning on planting any winter annuals. Please feel free to shoot me an email with any fertilizer or herbicide questions.

 I will definitely return to posting more frequently so please continue to come back for more updates.

Fall Update

Fall is finally here! On behalf of the entire maintenance crew I would like to thank all of you for your support and patience throughout the summer. The majority of both courses survived this year’s record setting heat and drought. We are confident that the tees, fairways, and greens are healthy enough to make it through the winter with minimal problems. The roughs saw nice recovery in September and October thanks to a few timely rain events. However, there are many areas that will enter the winter weak and will have a tough time in the spring. Please keep in mind that any areas that appear to be weak or stressed will not improve until late spring. Always use caution when driving carts and make an extra effort to avoid driving in these areas. We are hoping for a mild winter this year. The severe drought has not on ly weakened turfgrass but many trees. A hard, dry winter will only cause more damage and increase the potential for ‘winter kill’.

Overseeding and application of pre-emergent herbicides typically come to mind in mid to late fall. The drought has forced us to change our approach this year. The only areas that will be overseeded will be the par three tees, driving range tee, and 19th hole area. Pre-emergent herbicides provide us with a great way to minimize winter weeds. Unfortunately, they can also be detrimental to turf that is stressed. As a result, we will be restricting these herbicides to specific areas and relying more on post-emergent herbicides.
Winter provides us the much needed opportunity to accomplish many tasks that are difficult to complete during the growing season. A few things that we will be working on this year include: bunker work (North and South), tree removal, brush clearing, equipment maintenance, and improvements to our maintenance facility. We are looking forward to a productive winter. Please continue to check the blog and feel free to contact me at any time.