Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Turfgrass Growth Regulation

My apologies for not having a new post in a while.  It is not because we have nothing to share, just that we have been very busy, both on the golf course and off.  Hope to catch everyone up on the happenings at Harrison Bay in the next few days.

"What's with all the white dots?" seems to be a running question the last couple of days.  No, we are not trying to make it more difficult to find your golf balls on the golf course.  The "white dots" are simply foam used to mark the edges of our chemical application pass.  The foam is inexpensive, compared to liquid dye marker, and will evaporate quickly as the day gets hotter.  We finished applying our second application of  Legacy, a turfgrass growth regulator, to the fairways today. Growth regulators, such as Legacy, control the amount of topical growth a plant produces which will reduce the amount of grass that is removed at each mowing.  The current application will regulate the turf growth for about 4 weeks on the fairways.  I guess I should explain better that the product doesn't really regulate growth of the plant it simply redirects the growth of the plant.  The turfgrass plant is going to grow a certain amount per day given the proper growing conditions.  What we are able to accomplish with the use of growth regulators is control the direction that the turfgrass grows.  Instead of producing topical growth which makes the plant longer on the surface the turfgrass plant is "tricked" into growing more laterally and to generate more root growth, both beneficial to the plant and to the golf course superintendent.  Another benefit of using plant growth regulators is the increased greening color that we will receive over the next few weeks.  We will be able to reduce our mowing frequency on our fairway to twice per week if needed without sacrificing any quality thus saving fuel and reducing compaction on the fairways.

Willie applying Legacy to #15 fairway
  We have used growth regulators on the greens and fairways for several years and this year with the amount of play our golf course has been receiving it is difficult to get back out and blow the clippings left by the rough mowers in a timely manner.  We have received several complaints about the noise the tractors and blowers make on the golf course and I am sorry but it has been a necessary evil.  We started today to apply Legacy to our roughs as a manner of reducing the clipping yield in that area of the golf course.  It is our hope that the use of Legacy in the roughs will eliminate the need to send blowers out to clean up the clippings left by the rough mowers.  It should also produce a tighter, healthier turfgrass plant in the rough so your ball will set up better and you will be able to enjoy your round more.


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