April 11, 2015

Where's The Rain?

Feast or Famine.  After a winter with very little snow, spring is following suit and refusing to produce any additional moisture.  Since January 1st (over 1/4 of the year) all of the snow we have received has contained a mere 1.2" of actual water in it.  The thin snowpack we did have melted early and quickly in the middle of March, and following what was also a very dry fall, soaked into the ground very quickly.  In the last 3 weeks, we have received only trace amounts of additional precipitation.

Granted it isn't quite as bad here as it is in CA, but we are barely into spring and already in moderate drought.

Spring is a tedious time of year for the turf on the golf course after having barely survived a tough North Dakota winter, and with a very short root system, maintaining adequate moisture for the new plants as they break dormancy is paramount.  Because of this, and the fact that it is still too early to put water in our irrigation system due to frost in the ground and frozen valves, we have been out hauling water with tanks to syringe greens.

This is a very time consuming and labor intensive process hauling water to greens and using pumps and hoses to apply it, but it is crucial in such a dry start to the season to try and keep as much of the grass on the greens and collars from suffering any further damage.  We are especially focusing our watering efforts on greens where we have historically suffered damage following dry periods in the spring (PG, 2, 6, 9, 14, 18).

Not an ideal way for us to start the year off, but it sure beats a flood....

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