February 16, 2012

Are the greens still alive?

Sounds like an odd question, and the answer is a 97% "definitely"!  However, one thing that has me concerned is the ice layer that formed on some areas after our little bout with the snowmobile traffic back in the beginning on January.  The ice that formed on some areas of the greens that received significant traffic has set up into a variety of different layers.  Some ice is not very thick, and is still kind of porous and faceted, allowing oxygen exchange between the turf and atmosphere.  Some of the ice however has set up a little thicker and denser in some spots, and those are the areas that concern me.

4 green for example took a heavy load of sled traffic across the left side, and a few isolated spots have set up into 1/4" to 1/2" of dense ice.  I went out this week, chipped off the ice in one of the worst spots, and took a 1 1/2" core sample of the green with a hole saw bit in a drill.  The plug thawed out inside overnight, and is now planted in a container of sand, watered, and sitting in the windowsill of a south facing window in my 70 degree office.  It definitely should not take too long to find out if this turf is alive or not. 

My guess is that the turf is just fine.  However, if that plug doesn't start to green up in a week or so there is a pretty good chance you'll be seeing a follow up blog post with pictures of Andy and I out on some of the greens with a snowblower, ice picks, and shovels....

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