Friday, July 15, 2011

Native Grass Area Renovation

We have begun the process of renovating our native grass areas on the golf course.  Mitch has spent the past few days spraying a non-selective herbicide on the existing native areas on the golf course that we are planning on renovating.  The process will require us to spray these areas several times over the next year to remove the existing ground cover.  So these areas will not be very visually appealing for a while but we are hoping they will be well worth it once they are seeded and grown in. 

We have decided on three different blends of seed for the differing areas on the golf course and to achieve the look we are desiring.  For areas in front of tee boxes and where golf balls are very likely to go arrant we are looking at establishing a blend of low growing, around 12-18"  fescue and low growing wildflowers.  These areas will be sparse in order to allow golfers to more easily find their golf balls and play on.  Areas to the side of tee boxes and along fairways will be grown a little taller with a light mixture of little bluestem and broomsedge and wild flowers.  The areas behind greens and tees where no one really should be anyway will be planted in a heavier mixture of little bluestem and broomsedge.  The overall process will take about three years to complete and get the full appearance that we are looking for.  Please be patient with us.  I really think you will like the final product.

Here are a couple of examples of golf courses that have the look that we are trying to achieve.  The renovation of our native grass areas will continue to improve the appearance of the golf course and will also help to reduce operating costs.  We will renovate close to 40 acres into warm season native grass areas and native wildflowers.  By allowing these areas to return to their natural state over the past few years we have reduced our operating cost compared to having these areas in a high management status considerably.  Using formulas provided by Audubon International we have calculated our savings per acre to be $104.87 for machinery, $145.83 for labor, and $112.00 for fuel.  Calculate that for 40 acres and the total savings to our golf course for the year is $14,508.00.  Saving money, improving the environment, and improving the overall appearance of the golf course is something we really like.

Audubon International has a great fact sheet on The Benefits of Taller Grasses on Golf Courses.

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