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About this blog

Dave Wilber goes hard at it and never pulls any punches when it comes to agronomy.

Entries in this blog

The Plant as a Teacher

I love reading Frank Rossi's blog.   I don't always agree, but I love the way he invokes thinking and the way he passionately grabs information and makes total slaw out of it. It's an immaculate process.   His latest blog post on TurfNet.com is just such proof. And for the record, I would love to have been the guy carrying the camera cases for these two so they could invoke the Ancient Italian Art of Talking With Hands. I know Dan Dinelli. I spent a day with him a few years back and my head

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

Deep thinking, re-thinking, and reactive agronomy

"The world as we have created, it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking." - Albert Einstein   I want to thank the hundreds of people who, however it worked for them, supported me as I cared for my mom during the end of her life. True earning of karma. And of course there are the few who had to be opportunists for criticism. Oh well. The many outweigh the few. And I hope no one finds themselves in the position I found myself.   For a time, there wasn

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

I Guarantee You Aren't Ready

On the morning of May 18th, 2014, I awoke to find my mom on the floor. She was unconscious. She had a pulse and she was breathing. She was face down next to her bed. From what I could figure she had tried to get out of bed on her own and passed out. I rolled her onto her back and tried to get some kind of response. None. At all.   I knew this was coming. I didn't know how or when, but I somehow I knew. Signs? Plenty of them. But still, there are things that just don't put themselves on the cal

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

What Have I Really Learned?

If you haven't read my last TurfNet blog post, it may help you here. I'm simply overwhelmed at the amount of amazing stories, offers of support and awesome advice that have come my way. Posting that piece was a deeply personal act, one which I wasn't sure that I should do. Really. It may read with ease, but it was far from easy to write.   I'm always trying to integrate work and life. I've never believed in the concept of work and play and life as separate things. I see them as coordinated a

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

I Was Not Hatched...The Truth of "Family First"

Contrary to some theories, I was not hatched. I am also not a dropped off stray from Vulcan. I am not a character invented at Rockbottum CC. I am not the vision in Mama's frying pan.   This is my mom. Donna Wilber. She lives in the mountains of Colorado, where I was born. Not hatched. This picture was taken several years ago, on her 80th birthday. I had flown home to surprise her. Had a big evening in Denver all planned and she vetoed the whole thing. Insisting on drinks and pub food at The Cr

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

Death To Premature Turfication!

A moment of Turfhead Cheerleading.    I know that everyone reading this is beyond outstanding at their jobs. I get that. It doesn't matter the specific situation you are in, YOU are just great. Take that in. You rock. It's simple. Affirm this. YOU ROCK!   Which is why I'm going to encourage you now. Because when someone, anyone, tells you that you should be doing more to "get this place going", you are to smile and say something nice and NOT take that in because you have done your Wilber Aff

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

The Turfgrass Futurist, February 2014

Futurists or Futurologists are scientists and social scientists whose speciality is to attempt to  systematically explore predictions and possibilities about the future and how they can emerge from the present, whether that of human society in particular or of life on earth in general.   Here we are, post-GIS2014 and all it's big reception and huge announcement glory and it is time to look at the future.   I've met and hung with a couple Futurists. Howard Rheingold wrote a book called "The

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

The Wilber Agronomic Gazetteer, 2013 Edition

(gazetteer |gaziti()r| noun---a geographical index or dictionary. ORIGIN early 17th cent. (in the sense journalist): via French from Italian gazzettiere, from gazzetta (see gazette). The current sense comes from a late 17th-cent. gazetteer called The Gazetteer's: or, Newsman's Interpreter: Being a Geographical Index)   I used to send out a yearly rundown of the craziness of my travels and someone suggested that I should more widely distribute this as it was supposedly good reading. I stole t

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

Me Wish You A Merry Christmas

I absolutely can not believe that it is Christmas 2013. Can't. Because it seems like just 28 days ago it was March of 2013 and Christmas 2012.   Clearly something happened this year in what seemed to be fleeting days filled with fun, hassle, joy and abject stupidity.   It seems like this time of year polarizes lots of people. (see what I did there...Polar...). Be it family stuff or religious stuff or weather stuff or just plain stuff, the Holidays put people to the act of decision of some so

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

Report Card Time

I'm pretty sure that the whole "what do you do in the winter?" thing has pretty much been beaten to death in the popular turfgrass press. After all, pretty much everyone knows that you spend your winters spinning tunes in the shop and inventing new ways to mow, blow and go. Right? Wrong!   It's almost like we have to tell each other that we really do actually do things. Sadly, we leave out the whole southern part of the US (and the world, really) when the notion is constantly entertained that

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

Turfheads In The Wild Are Easy To Spot

When we Turfheads are turned out into the pastures of the real world, all kinds of interesting things happen.   I hear the stories all the time. Chiefly, how, if X, Y or Z business would be run like we run our operations, there wouldn't be any hassles. Because, really, when you want to execute, we all know that a turfgrass professional is the one to call. Think about it. In some form or another you have had reason to say to the real world that they just need to think like "we" do.   My 10-ye

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

Geek? Damn Right!

I'm inspired by Frank Rossi's latest TurfNet blog post today wherein he talks about being a Turf Geek.   I am. I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter to a lot of people. Certainly being very much into turfgrass has been misunderstood for as long as anyone has ever tried to grow or manage the turfgrass animal. And when I was bitten by the bug, sure has hell, no one (and I mean no one) understood me. There was a constant questioning of why I would even care from just about everyone in my life.   Tu

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

Aerification Overjoy Status

I have a sense of elation over aerification.   New technology and new thinking seems to be flowing into these efforts and the results are really good. Exceptional in fact.    Here's what I'm seeing that has me so excited.   1. Pre-invasion strategy. More than ever before conversations with turfheads have a lot to do with what they can do before an aerification event. Fertility, carbon inputs, stress reduction measures, growth regulator timing and anything you can think of to create recov

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

An Open Letter to The Green Chairman

(I've had the pleasure to work with both great and awful green chairmen. This summer, I'm calling it the Summer of the Noobie. And so, in Wilber Fashion. Time to write an open letter.)   Dear Mr. Green Chairman,   Do you, sir, really understand your job as Green Committee Chairman?    How in the world did you get so little direction for this position when given it? Please tell me that you passionately accepted this position with the understanding that it may be the most important committee

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

Hydromulch Is A Riot, Compost Is A Mosh Pit!

When I think Fall, I think Compost. Well, that and Pumpkins, but even the Pumpkins should eventually be composted. Or fed to your dog to make him more photogenic for the TurfNet Dog Calendar.    I've never really understood the ultimately non-Amish practice of turfheads allowing good carbons that just need a little transformation to leave the property. So here you come into fall and there exists this great carbon source, albeit a pain in the neck to collect, but hey, run the blowers. And think

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

Mulch is Fun. Hydromulch is a Riot.

I'm a huge fan of hydromulch.   I'm not sure why it hasn't caught on as much as it should. Perhaps due to the strength of the sod industry or perhaps the fact that hydroseeding/hydromulching is labor intensive. I'm not anti sod by any stretch of the imagination, but there are a few instances where it just doesn't work. And while there is some degree of instant gratification with sod, it may come with challenges that aren't needed.   The first is when we need to be using grasses or are workin

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

Let's Get All Agro Carbo!

Here comes fall and after a summer of giving up the process, our turfgrass babies are getting ready to make some Carbos. I really love this time of year, because if you really pay attention to how the plant works and what the plant really needs, then some key decisions can pay off huge. This counts for recovery now, and emergent later.   Despite what some people try to hang around my neck, I'm a minimalist. Which means that first and foremost, I follow something that Dr. Mackenzie said years a

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

Figuring Out The Old Stuff at Claremont

I recently got the opportunity to work on one of the most interesting projects I've ever had a chance to be a part of.   You may not know about Claremont Country Club in Oakland, California, and that's a shame. Claremont is a cool old Mackenzie design that is short, but one of the funnest rounds you'll ever have. And challenging too. I'd play there every day if they'd let me. They never will, but it's a nice dream to have. Recently restored to amazing original glory at the hands of Jim Urbina

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

Damn, Dude. Not Yet. An Ode to Jeffery P.

(once again...I'm skipping the plant phys. series to interject about a hot topic in my life. RSN, back to it but I can't ignore the voices in my head on this one.)   I'm reeling from the death of a friend. And I'd like to share with you about a wonderful person, Jeffrey McManus.   In the early 90's, I needed an email address and access to something called the internet for a research project I was looking into. That project fizzled. In the process, I discovered The WELL. Short for Whole Earth

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

Sudden Hot Weather Checklist and Recommendations

(I know in my last post I promised a continuation of the Plant Physiology stuff, but am taking a break for a more relevant thing, we will return to the geekery rsn (that's real soon now...non-nerd).   Ok, so... the phone has been ringing off the hook as unseasonably hot weather hits most of the Western US. In particular, the Sacramento area is getting a real wallop but isn't alone. I put this out to my Sacramento Turfhead friends and wanted to share. I hate ambulance chasing, but here are 10 ti

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

Nutrient Transportation, Sodium Pump Style

Since everyone seems to be spraying something, let's do some Plant Physiology and look at how nutrients get into the plant. Be it root or leaf, at the cellular level, nutrients applied have to enter in. This may affect how you think about and how you build your fertility-oriented sprays.   There are 4 recognized mechanisms for movement of nutrients through cell membranes: [*]Diffusion. There's this thing called the Lipid Bilayer. Basically a cellular sandwich and simply, if a nutrient can so

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

Week In Review, End of May, 2013

I took some random notes this past week. Not that I don't know what I do, but the thought occurred to me that some people don't know that much about what I do and might find it interesting. Or, perhaps they may just think that what they thought was true may not be at all. Or... well, perhaps it means nothing...!   How about some stats:   Miles Driven: 1,278 Gallons Fuel Burned: 74 Texts Sent/Received: 227 Emails Received: 374 Phone Min Used: 737 Crappy Road Meals: 11 Starbucks Stops: 9

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

Terrorism, Turfhead Style

"Have you lost your f**king mind?" The voice said as it roared out of the office. I was 5 minutes early for my meeting with Superintendent Z. It was clear that something was wrong.   "Well, answer me, a**hole", the rant continued. And I recognized the voice of the superintendent as I wisely stayed away from the view of the doorway. "F**king dumbass. I mean really, you must be the worst damn employee on any golf course, anywhere". Not mincing any words here, clearly (and these are actual quotes

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

Refreshing

For the last week, I've been talking a ton about water. It's kind of how it goes this time of year and crossing all the climate, locations and turf types that I work with, there is a universal truth. Spring brings on irrigation.   A good thing would be to take a look at one of the more popular posts that I've made since being made into a blogger by Maestro McCormick. You can find it here. May be a good refresher and very refreshing! (I'm starting to channel Randy Wilson, is there a spray for t

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

You Just Aren't Dirty Enough, Monkey

I'm a big fan of having the numbers before making the diagnosis. It just makes sense, really to try and eliminate guess work from a business that often fosters licking one's finger and sticking it in the air or throwing some grass blades in the wind to determine what shot to hit or application to make. We do bad things to ourselves with these actions.   But sometimes things are just too clear cut. Case in point, at a recent early morning meeting, I was asked to grab some soil samples to submit

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

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