Make Hay While the Sun Shines

Each fall our staff performs several basic tasks to promote turf recovery after a busy summer golf schedule and in preparation of the fall golf season. Additionally these practices prepare the course for the onslaught of New England’s winter weather. Aeration, fertilization, soil tests and liming requirements are all vital components to a sound agronomic program. For all you DYI lawn care enthusiasts, now is the most important time to fertilize your home lawns.

In an earlier article I outlined a simple and effective program. Step 4 of that program suggests fertilizing your lawn with a 50% slowly available nitrogen source. A 1/2 lb. of (N)nitrogen/1000 sq.ft is sufficient this time of year. By fertilizing late in the season you’ll encourage your lawns to store carbohydrate reserves for a long winter and healthy start for the 2018 season. Couple this approach with raising your lawns mowing height will greatly enhance the overall health of your home lawns. Don’t wait too much longer for this application, the turfgrass needs the time and seasonable temperature to accumulate those carbs.

Over the next several weeks our staff will be concentrating on fall cleanup and sod installation projects. October’s unusually mild weather has delayed this falls leaf drop considerably throughout the region and extended turf growth. I’d anticipate a vast majority of the leaves to fall in the next 7-10 days with a heavy rain event or a few hard frosts. At which time we’ll address fall clean up in earnest. We’ll simultaneously be addressing areas that need to be replaced with sod in select areas.

This time of year it’s nearly impossible to control the amount of water in the greens profile. This in itself leads to soft playing conditions that are easily damaged by ball marks and divots. Improperly repaired ball marks are the leading cause of Poa infestation in our greens. One item that everyone can help us with is the proper repair of ball marks and divot replacement. Below please find the link to a 4 question quiz from the USGA on ball marks and proper repair methods.

Any course suggestions or comments for consideration are always welcomed.

Wayne LaCroix
Golf Course Superintendent