Low and slow is an excellent strategy for cooking meats that need time to tenderize. I'm sure the Maestro has a good recipe to insert here. Low and slow also describes the season we have had to date with low temperatures that are keeping the bentgrass from pushing along and slow describes the speed we see on the putting surfaces.
It may not be exactly what the the golfers want this Spring, especially if we did some coring and greens are bumpy AND slow (see figure). But just like preparing the meat that gets better with time, our putting surfaces will benefit from the slow Spring unless we "RAISE the temp" and start pushing them too hard too early.
The Spring is the time to use environmental conditions, especially low soil moisture, to manipulate plant growth and precondition for summer stress periods. Allowing some drought stress, going easy on the N, and minimizing other forms of disturbance such as vertical mowing and coring will help select for perennial plants more able to deal with the season ahead. The challenge with using stress is always how much is too much?
Allowing some drought stress, going easy on the N, and minimizing other forms of disturbance such as vertical mowing and coring will help select for perennial plants more able to deal with the season ahead.
Last season with the dry Spring many allowed the greens to dry at the surface knowing moisture was present deeper in the profile. Of course grasses that are deeper rooted will benefit from this approach. But if you have had any catastrophic loss in the last few years and annual bluegrass has recolonized the surface, rooting will be shallow and stress tolerance low. Many let it get too dry and the "anthracnose treadmill" begins. Use your soil moisture meter and dial in the numbers.
Spring management is about starting the conversation with golfers about YOUR goals for the season. Explain the slow start, that is if you are using it to prevent having to "RAISE the temp", in terms of season long goals. Talk about the golf calendar and how not pushing the surface now will insure greater success later. Just like in cooking "low and slow" prepares you for a great season!