Sunday, March 13, 2016

Wildly Warm Weather

It is difficult to believe that a little more than one week ago we had snow on the ground.  With record-breaking temperatures running more than 30 degrees above average on Wednesday and Thursday, it felt as if we instantly jumped from winter to summer.  On the golf course, this meant that we had to hastily get the divot mix boxes, water coolers, and ballwashers in place.

One of the unanticipated challenges this weather created, is to some of the sod we placed two weeks ago...when daytime highs were still in the 40's.  Sodding during the winter typically works well, as the turf develops roots even without top growth, and it has little stress.  However, this isn't the case when the thermometer hits the low 80's, and we had to get some water on these areas.

#13 fairway starting to green-up.

By tracking growing degree days (a measure of heat accumulation) we can determine the best timing of applications for Poa seedhead control on the greens.  We hit the threshold and made the first application this past week, on March 10.

What's newsworthy about this?  Well, in 2015 we didn't make the same application until April 6.  Yes, it was close to a full month later when we had accumulated the same number of growing degree days!

Clearly soil temperatures are one of the driving forces in agriculture.  If the warmer weather continues, it's likely that we will be dealing with weed, insect, and fungi issues sooner than we're used to.  Never a dull moment, or two years alike when Mother Nature is in charge.

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