Monday, August 9th, 2010

We got a call back from the water master and it wasn't what I expected. She said that she could not regulated us at this time due to the fact that the water was running 5 cubic feet per second. Our permit will allow us to draw until the creek reaches 1.5 cfs. So at this time we are still drawing from the creek again and have turned off the deep well pump. In the name of conservation we are not filling the lake on #6 at this time and we are only running one pump. It has certainly been a strange season and really speaks a lot for late spring rains and its effect on surface water. Now that August is here we will see the night time temperatures dropping and the days will be getting shorter. We can turn the run times way down as well as the water days. I only wish I could instill this knowledge to our neighbors and their 40,000 square foot "vanity pastures". I asked a couple of them last week what their water bill was and they said it is over $1,000. I offered to reduce their bill and they could pay me the difference but I didn't get any bites. Its funny that we probably spent around $1,000 for electricity last month to irrigate the entire golf course and they do just that on their home lawns. I have such a hard time with that.

Adam had an opportunity to fly with Richard Dopp in his Aeronca airplane last week and while he was up over the course he took this picture. If you look near the top and left of the photo you can see some of the lawns that I am talking about. It really illustrates the term "vanity pasture" which I must say got from a gal that was on the OPB Think Out Loud radio show that I did this spring on "Turf Wars". She had a pretty liberal viewpoint on lawns but I can really identify with her use of the terms. Aside from the neighbors, Adam's picture really illustrates how green things are for this time of year.

The crew has continued removing the Hydrilla from the lakes. Each day I see a huge pile in the dump but looking at the lakes it seems like a small amount removed. The guys have been doing a great job and there hard work is very much appreciated.

We used the Thatch-Away reels on the greens Tuesday and removed quite a bit of material. I feel like the sand really got into the profile and now they look awesome. I don't like to use these units to often for the vary reason that they can be too aggressive, but since they are so healthy right now and growing so well it was a perfect time to use them. We rolled the greens Friday to give them a little boost for the weekend and next week we will have them rolling pretty "smoothly" for the Club Championship.

I have been real please with our broad leaf control this season as Steve Pearce continues to systematically go through the entire course and spot spray. He continues to spray the clover patches that are showing up as well as the noxious weeds that arise in and around the tall grass areas. It really make a difference to approach it in this manner. We save so much in material costs as well as limit our pesticide exposure.

1.25" Left, 0.5" Right
Field Day
Super fine texture
Plots next to turf type tall fescue
Creeping ryegrass invading tall fescue plots
Thursday I had an opportunity to attend a field day at the Ledeboer Seed Farm. They have developed the first turf type creeping perennial ryegrass. Ryegrass is the primary turfgrass used in the Northwest amongst golf courses, sod farms, and athletic fields. It's value is in its quick establishment characteristics and its strong wear tolerance. Dr. Fred Ledeboer discovered, while evaluating some of his plots, a patch of grass that he thought was creeping bentgrass and almost sprayed it out with Round-up. But upon closer examination he discovered that it was in fact perennial
ryegrass. He soon learned that this grass produces what they termed "pseudo-stolons". They are actually seed stalks that lay prostrate and will develop roots at the nodes of the plant. So instead of producing seed stalks that normally appear in the spring and cause the turf to become tough to cut and leave a frayed appearance, this grass uses those stalks to spread and knit together. So as you can imagine the sod growers will like this because they can now plant a 100% perennial ryegrass product and do not have to use netting or Kentucky bluegrass to hold it together. Currently JB Sod is growing 90 acres of the sod and just started
selling it this summer. The texture of this turf is amazingly fine and the color is some of the deepest green I have seen. I call it a freak of nature, it just seems to good to be true. We have been using it on our driving range tee now for a year and can see the spreading characteristics already. It is going to be a great product for tee boxes and now I can see the value for some courses to use it in fairways in lieu of bentgrass. It will take a low cutting height with no problem, I have heard of it down to as low as 7/16th's of an inch. The other nice thing is the seeding rate can be as low as two pounds per thousand. The lower rate allows it to spread quickly and become established. In these pictures you can really see the fine textured appearance and its ability to compete with other grasses. We will be planting our nursery with this product this fall and will use it to re-sod some of our tee boxes that are starting to crown.

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