Saturday, November 19, 2011

Course Update 11/19/11

Message from our Horticulturalist, Gary Tupa:
"The landscaping crew has completed its fall annual plant change out. Approximately 4000 4" plants consisting of Pansies, Dianthus, Cyclamen, and Alyssum, have been planted around the club. The crew begins by removing all summer annuals. Then the soil is tilled and a layer of new, highly organic soil is added. Organic granular fertilizer and insecticide is then applied. After the plants are installed the beds are topped off with a layer of living mulch, which contains composted organic matter. A liquid, organic, foliar fertilizer is then applied every two weeks. In April of the following year the whole process begins again with the installation of summer annuals."
Long time Sonterra employee Candalario "Benny" Gonzales tending to the new plants.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Course Update 11/11/11

Good Morning. We had our second frost of the year this morning. We were forced to delay play by about 30 minutes. Frost delays are a pain for all of us but they are absolutely necessary. Please take the time to watch this short video from the USGA explaining frost delays.

While the grass has dramatically slowed in terms of growth we still have a lot of routine maintenance practices to complete. We are still mowing or rolling greens everyday. Tees, collars, and approaches are mowed two to three times per week, while fairways and roughs are mowed as needed. Last week we completed edging of all the cart paths on the South. This is a very labor intensive process that takes several days to complete. We began this job on North this week and should finish by the first part of next week. 

Edging bunkers is another labor intensive task. This week we edged all of the bunkers on both courses. In order to make this process go as quickly as possible we break the crew up into three teams. The first group pulls the sand away from the edges of the bunkers. This allows the second team to weedeat and edge the perimeter of the bunkers - clearly defining boundaries and creating a nice clean look. The third team carries blowers to remove all the debris from the weedeating and completely rakes the bunker to return it to normal playing conditions. At any given time we may have 6 to 9 employees working together to complete the entire process. Please be patient if you are playing on a day that we are edging bunkers as you will encounter bunkers that have not been finished out for play.

Jose Villagomez, Lupe Gonzalez-Perez, and Ramiro Valenciano working on the bunkers on #2 North
We also spent this week preparing for overseeding. This year we will only be overseeding the Par 3 tees on each course, the driving range tee, and the 19th hole area. In order to prepare the tees for seeding we must first open up the turf canopy. We do this by vertical mowing and light scalping. Weather permitting we will seed the above areas this coming Monday. Once the seed is down we must keep the tees very wet for a couple of weeks.

Hipolito Gonzales verti-cuts number 6 Tee N