This winter we will have turf covers on the putting green and on a portion of the driving range tee.  Turf covers can be used to help prevent winter injury, and keep soil temperatures a little higher which allows for more rapid green-up in the spring.  These are plastic covers that consist of holes to allow for water and air movement through the cover.  Their greatest benefit for us comes when they create a greenhouse effect over the turf to trap heat and keep the soil temperatures higher.  The increased soil temperatures will allow for more growth earlier in the spring.

We covered the putting green to continue to aid in the recovery of the areas that were sodded and overseeded earlier this year.

The covers were put on the driving range tee to help with the divot recovery.  We do not anticipate these covers will allow us to open the tee sooner.  However, when we do open the tee next spring, we hope to have more of the divots healed from this year.
The irrigation system winterization was completed with no problems this year.  More detailed information about the system winterization can be found on last year's post about the same topic: Winterizing the Irrigation System.

Here are more pictures of the drainage work at the bottom of 2 fairway.

This drain in the 4th fairway is located around the drainage basin near the green.  This area is rarely able to sufficiently dry.  Aside from being located around a drainage basin, it is also shaded.  Being near the green causes this area to be in play regularly.  Our hope is that the extra drainage will catch the surface water as it runs towards the drainage basin and move it underground quicker.

A project we worked on throughout the fall involved raising areas in the fairways and roughs where drainage lines and irrigation lines had settled since the project.  These spots created a bumpy ride in the carts and could have resulted in an unwelcome lie in the fairways.  This project will likely continue in the spring as well.

More of the drainage that has been completed was done in the 4th fairway in the valley beyond the fairway bunkers.  This area did hold water for a while longer after rains.  It was not a larger amount of water, because of that, a smaller drain was used.  Here are some pictures of the progress.

Our most anticipated drainage project this fall was at the bottom of 2 fairway.  In the spring this area is regularly roped off and again after rain events through the season.  Because the area remains wet at times, we may be forced to skip mowing it.  This also made for very poor playing conditions in a prominent spot on the hole.

This area is also the final stop for flood waters that collect in the floodway after large rains.  The only way to ensure the flood waters drain rapidly is to keep the existing drain clean.  The drain we installed in the fairway will help with the surface water that remains in the low area after rain events or the major flood waters retreat.

Our fall fertilizer applications have all been completed.  As we normally do, a bulk truck applied the fertilizer in the fairways and the roughs.  It is very convenient to have this done.  The bulk totes of fertilizer were dropped off first thing in the morning. The truck arrived about 2 hours later and began fertilizing.

Here is the link to the post about fall fertilization last year: Fertilization Finale

Here are the reasons for the fall fertilization application copied from last year's post:

"The late fall application is an important application for the health of the turf through the winter months, as well as green-up when the cold temperatures break in the spring time. The timing of the application is the most important aspect of this application. The goal is to spread the fertilizer after the grass has stopped growing, and the last mowing; but, before the ground begins to freeze. Though the leaves above ground have stopped growing for the year, the roots will continue to be active until the ground becomes frozen. This means the roots will be able to take in the nutrients from the fertilizer application, and instead of utilizing the energy for growing leaves, it will us the energy to grow roots and store nutrients. These stored nutrients become important when the turf starts to grow again in the spring. The stored energy allows the turf to green up sooner in the spring, and begin to grow out of the winter dormancy quicker."
Nov. 5, 2010 Scouting Report
It's November Already: Illinois is dry, Irrigation turned off, Lows are 20-something, Tim says ASA-CSSA-SSSA, and Nick's new word is Favicons. 

Chicago/Northern Illinois Update: Derek Settle -
Cold! Monday through Wednesday on Sunshine Course was plain cold. I was not exactly feeling it - I found myself sleeping on the Queen Mary while attending a meeting in California. Tim's emails of weather data showed me 27, 24 and 25 were recorded as lows those 3 days in Lemont, Ill. I quickly realized our first round of consistently cold temperatures had come to pass in Chicago. My dismal two finger count of hard frosts for October (lows below 30 degrees) was over. In quick sucession I put up three more fingers on the QM as we turned another page. You see, the second-to-the-last-month-of-the-year had begun. Meanwhile in California, their cool looking weatherman on TV were saying "...95 degrees today." I couldn't help but think Long Beach turf managers were handwatering that day while in the freezing 'North' irrigation is necessarily OFF. 

Without a heavy jacket, feeling a little guilty, I would board a little red bus each morning to attend the International Crop Science meeting. Much of my time was spent looking at posters related to turf science - go figure. "Freezing Tolerance..." in the title caught my eye more than once. I thought of the 300 x 18 golf greens in Chicago that had better be hardening off at a cellular level by accumulation of sugars and salts. Recent winters had been harsh and plants, (Poa annua here) were going to need that antifreeze. Winter 2010-2011 is on deck. Cold? 

Click here to view the complete Nov. 5, 2010 Scouting Report. 

This weekend we are to prepare for THE big warm-up?

Derek Settle, PhD 
Director of Turfgrass Program 
Chicago District Golf Association 
11855 Archer Ave 
Lemont, IL 60439
After the wet spring we had, several drainage projects were put into the plans for this fall.  The first project completed was the smallest.  This project is on the left side of 12 fairway.

Drainage was completed here before when a catch basin was installed to collect water from the rough before it made it to the fairway.  After big rains we notice that water from the fairway would run toward the catch basin of the edge of the fairway then turn back to towards the middle of the fairway and run another 40 yards to a drain in the fairway.  All we needed to do to collect that water was lower the grade at the edge of the fairway to get the water to run into the rough to the basin, and prevent it from moving back into the fairway.

The project involved stripping away the sod and digging out some of the grade and rolling the sod back out.

The sod rolled back into place.
The frosts this week have been heavy.  All of our summer flowers have now been removed due to frost damage and the majority of the leaves have now fallen from the trees.  Here are some pictures of the frosts this week.

Next PostNewer Posts Previous PostOlder Posts Home