Friday, July 11, 2014

Sprigging and Sodding from 2014 Winter Injury

We all enjoy seeing a snow fall across the golf course every now and then and while it is beautiful to look at the damage that cold temperatures and snow/ice cover leave behind can be felt for a very long time.  The winter of 2014 was very hard on turfgrass in the transition zone and we are still recovering from its effects.  We have worked to repair areas around the golf course, on greens, tees, and fairways, as possible.  This week and next we will complete our recovery efforts.

We had several small areas on the greens that did not recover and needed to be sodded or plugged. Our staff used the sod from our nursery/chipping green to make the repairs in the greens which turned out very well.  With the removal of so much plant material from the nursery it has been necessary to renovate the nursery again this season.  I guess that is what it was built for so we should use it as such. The process began last week with Willie and Tanner stripping any remaining turf from the surface, adding some new sand and smoothing and packing the surface.

The resprigging of the chipping green started this morning with a quick trip up to Knoxville where Champion Turf Farms was converting yet another golf course.  Upon returning to Harrison Bay it took us about an hour to introduce the sprigs to their new home.

Once the sprigs were completely spread across the green surface and had a quick drink of water they were "buried" in humate blended sand.  The sprigs were covered with enough sand so that they were barely visible.  This process will help protect them from drying out and from any movement by wind or water.  It also helps to begin the smoothing out process of the green during grow in.

Once the sprigs were sufficiently protected and they had another drink of water we used the bunker rake to pack or press the sprigs into the green.  This process will help the sprigs make better contact with the soil surface for better rooting.  I would have liked to have used a heavy roller or cutting tool but sometimes you have to use the best tool that you have available.

With favorable weather, the sprigs will take about 6-7 weeks to completely grow in and become a true putting surface like the rest of the golf course greens.  Until that time the chipping green area is closed to play.  Irrigation will be applied over the next several days on a regular interval so we ask that you stay clear of this area so you do not get wet by accident.

Other renovations to the golf course will include the finishing up of sod repair on #5 and #17 fairways.  The repairs on #10 and #15 have turned out very nice and we expect these two new areas to do the same.

We will also be placing sod on a couple of tee boxes and in some heavy traffic areas on and approaching greens.  Please be aware of these areas and avoid driving through, walking over, or playing from these areas until further notice.  We will not be placing ropes and signs around many of these areas since they are so small but we ask that you show care for the golf course and respect the hard work your golf course maintenance staff is putting forth to provide you with a high quality golf course.