Sunday, March 19, 2017

What month is this?

While we were enjoying temperatures in the 70's during late February, our Golf Professional, John DiMarco, accurately predicted that we were going to get a good storm in March.  Yes, conditions are quite different this month than they were last, when we had the warmest February on record.  The dramatic change has a lot of people asking how the radical ups and downs in temperature will impact the course going forward.
Carts?  Maybe one equipped with tracks, or skis.

Currently, we don't have any cause for alarm.  As many know, ice is not good for turf.  Fortunately, we are in March, not January, so the nasty ice from last week's storm won't be around for long.

Another question is, could there be any benefit to the blast of cold air after a warm period?  That is, will this help take out some of the undesirables, such as weevils?  Unfortunately, it seems unlikely, as we had only started to see adult weevil movement in the warm weather, and insects tend to have some great survival mechanisms that let them ride out wacky weather patterns.

Likely, the greatest challenge this weather roller coaster will present is in how it impacts the timing of our applications for Poa seedhead, Crabgrass, and yes, Annual Bluegrass Weevil control.  Some of the phenological indicators that we typically rely on, such as Forsythia, may not work this year, due to injury they've sustained from the cold.  The use of Growing Degree Days will definitely be key in successful timing this year.

As is often the case, we may look back at 2017 and label it another "average" year.  However, the peaks and valleys that lead to these years certainly feel as if they are becoming more extreme.  Right now, we're just hoping that John DiMarco doesn't forecast a brutally hot and dry summer!

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