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Times Like These

Frank Rossi

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Nothing like the a steamy summer. Golf turf is under heat and disease stress from Miami (if you have Paspalum) to Minnesota (if you have Poa annua) and over to Maine (do they have grass in Maine?). In times like these someone on the staff is attached to the spray rig.

 

Quote

high humidity only makes a few people happy-people who sell pools and people who run turf diagnostic labs that process turf disease samples.

 

What started as the kind of growing season where it was said, "if you are having a hard time growing grass maybe it is time to find a new line of work", has become the summer that often chases folks from this business. In times like these it is best stay focused on your weak turf areas making sure they are not too wet and not too dry.

 

Persistent high night time temperatures combined with the high humidity only makes a few people happy-people who sell pools and people who run turf diagnostic labs that process turf disease samples. In times like these you have to resist the urge to empty the chemical shed every five days and watch closely which grasses are struggling.

 

Up north it is the Poa annua that looks at us every morning and says, "I'll be checking out early today". Moving south into the Heartland towards St. Louis and over to Mid-Atlantic the creeping bentgrass almost looks like a warm season grass but at some point will be looking for an early checkout. In times like these there is little to do but try and relieve the stress without creating new stress.

 

In times like these while you have to stay focused on your work, you must keep a part of you detached to stay healthy.

 

Mow your putting surfaces a little less and a little higher. Studies looking at plant energy management during heat stress found plants can survive longer when mowing height is raised a few ten thousandths. In times like these be sure mowers are as sharp as can be-shredding the leaf adds more stress.

 

Stress is defined as a biological organisms response to a challenge. The word is derived from the old latin-stringere-to draw tight. And for those of us who take our turf quality personally we know what that "tightness" feels like. In times like these while you have to stay focused on your work, you must keep a part of you detached to stay healthy. Because the best thing about times like these is that they pass!



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