Turf Scouting Report, August 27th

Chicago/Northern Illinois Update: Derek Settle
Lessons learned. Weathermen's words are now kind. Chicago's Tom Skilling wrote, "It becomes difficult for temperatures to warm to early summer levels this late in the season." Our days continue to shorten and tree shadows continue grow. Nevertheless, the final days of August are to be hot - a few more 90s forecast. It continues to remind us that summer 2010 was a difficult experience. It turned out to be consistently wet and warm. Heat intolerant Poa Trivialis and Poa annua caught our attention from the very beginning - too consistent! Meanwhile, bentgrass suffered physiological decline - during peak midsummer heat we were too wet for too long. Even Kentucky bluegrass faltered - overly wet soils exacerbated root damage by summer patch. 

From a plant health standpoint, summer 2010 was a "booger bear" so to speak. Few breaks in heat and humidity occurred. The Green Committee asks, "Why just us?" News accounts tell us that other areas of the country were possibly worse off. No amount of budget can provide a pristine look if shortcomings exist - they always do. For example, we usually deal with poor drainage somewhere. It makes sense since many golf courses benefit urban areas by providing a watershed. Streams and lakes will overflow their banks on occasion - 2010 for example. Golf courses with significant turf loss in 2010 are often a story of enduring an especially hot summer AND a flood event or two or three ... Peak heat is largely now behind us and turf recovery has begun - naturally. Overseeding bentgrass and adding new tile lines ASAP - lessons learned.

Click here for the August 27th Turf Scouting Report
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