Friday, August 2, 2013

Lack of Sun=Lack of Turfgrass Growth

It has often been said "What a difference a year makes" and oh how that is true this year.  Our weather this summer, especially the amount of sunlight our turfgrass has received, has been so different from last year.  Last year's growing season began in early February with a quick green up of the greens and did not stop until after Thanksgiving.  It was great for the health of the turfgrass and the amount of golfers to visit the golf course.  This summer we have experienced more rain than I can remember during the summer months but more than that we have had more days of limited or blocked sunlight which has resulted in greens which have been slower to recover from maintenance practices than I am used to and has forced us to use higher heights of cut than we would like to eliminate the possibility of scalping.

July of 2012 had an average temperature of 83 degrees, with a high of 107 and a low of 77.  This past July saw our average temperature of only 78 degrees with a high of 94 and a record low of 62.  Rainfall in 2012 was recorded to be 6.87 inches for the month while 2013 saw a total of 8.33 inches total for the month of July.  Although the rain was an issue this year, the biggest issue to the turfgrass was the amount of cloud cover that we encountered this year.  We experienced 25 days out of 31 which were considered to be substantially cloudy.  Lack of sunlight for our Champion greens is more detrimental during the summer months than the lack of high temperatures.  The limited sunlight has restricted many of our weak areas from healing in completely and has caused the greens to begin elongating as the greens think it is already September and they are getting ready for their long winter nap.

The chipping green is coming along nicely but it has also suffered from the lack of great growing weather and is lagging behind a bit more than I would like for it to be.  We have began daily maintenance on it and it is spreading and filling in okay.  I think this will be a great addition to the golf course as the increased size of the putting surface will allow golfers practicing bunker shots to have a big enough surface to stop their ball on, which was our biggest complaint about the old chipping green.  One little improvement at a time.

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