Finally we had some warmer temperatures and some dry weather early last week. It not only gave us the opportunity to plug the greens but it also signaled the emergence of crane fly's. The crane fly is a common pest in the Northwest and can cause sever damage to turfgrass. Stone Creek is not immune to the pest but we have rarely treated for it. The damage usually occurs in isolated areas and does not result in the disruption of play. We utilize IPM in determining the need to treat. The photo here shows the emergence of the adult from the nursery green but there is no sign of damage so we will not be treating this turf. Our only mode of action here is the "boot".
Other than a minor frost delay on Tuesday, the greens aerification went without a hitch. The new brush was amazing in helping us fill the holes quickly and thoroughly. In this photo I have just drug the green once and am in the middle of my second time around. You can see the result for yourself. This will ensure that the holes are completely filled and will speed the healing time significantly.
One of the steps we perform during the aerification process is to add bentgrass seed to the greens. This will not prevent the spread of Poa annua but it certainly maintains a healthy population of bentgrass. We have been inner seeding bent for a number of years and have witnessed a transition to the finer bladed A-1 and A-4 bentgrasses not to mention Poa annua too.
One of the highlights of the week was on Tuesday when I swung by the parking lot and noticed the amount of cars there. Here we were right in the middle aerifying the greens and it looked like a typical busy weekday. This is probably more the power of sunshine than anything else but it was sure good to see people enjoying the course and not complaining about the sand. Kudos to my entire staff for the quick and efficient work and allowing the proshop to get play off as soon as they did.
Last week we managed to squeeze in 2.09 inches of rain in the last three days of the week. Even though we may be experiencing plenty of sunshine this week we still need to be aware of soft areas. Unfortunately this cart wasn't aware of this spot on eighteen. For Stone Creek this seems highly unusual and it is, but it gives you an idea how much rain we have had over the past few months.
The weather looks like it is taking shape this week and we should be in for some great golfing conditions. We will be tackling the tees this week and should not disrupt play at all through the process other than reversing the nines on Tuesday.