October 20, 2013

Nursery Update

I blogged back in July about the new bentgrass nursery that we seeded this summer.  It is close to about 3,000 square feet and was seeded to Alpha bentgrass, a newer variety that we used to sod and seed our new tees with this spring.

Although I have to admit that tending to our nursery fell pretty low on the priority list this summer, we did manage to get a pretty good stand of grass established by this fall.  At this point, I am cautiously optimistic that we will be able to harvest that turf first thing in the spring for a variety of uses.

Most importantly, as soon as we are finished doing the final seeding on our new tees in the spring, we will be able to sod a small pad in the middle of the teebox that will be available for immediate use while the rest of the seed is growing in.  What this means is that the use of temporary tee boxes should be very limited this coming spring.

Secondly, with whatever is left, we will be sodding out any of the dead collars around the greens.  Unfortunately, after 3 years in ND, I can honestly say that there will probably never be a "perfect" winter where at least some of the Poa Annua that so heavily infests our collars will not be dead.  Every spring thus far we have aggressively slit seeded bentgrass into some of these dead areas, but it has been an agonizingly slow wait for the bentgrass seed to germinate and the Poa to slowly fill its self back in around the collars.  Having an immediate stash of sod to use to instantly fix the worst of the dead areas will be really helpful.

3,000 sq ft of pure Alpha bliss ready to find a new home out on the golf course this coming spring!

If all goes well we should have all of this harvested and utilized out on the golf course by the end of May.  And then we get to rebuilt it and start over!  Next time, I am hoping to expand our bentgrass nursery to closer to 5,000 sq. ft. as well as seed another 10,000 sq. ft. to a newer blend of low mow bluegrass for use in our fairways.  It seems like a guy can never have too much sod on hand just in case....

October 15, 2013

Back Into The Swamp

The last 2 weeks have brought us close to 4" of rain.  We have had to pump bunkers more times in the month of October that we did in June, July, and August combined!  Combined with continuous leaf cleanup and a very small staff, it seems like we haven't been able to get a single thing done on the course recently that I would have liked to.

Worse yet, going into fall with completely saturated soils, and ditches and river channels already half full of water certainly isn't a good scenario for us going into spring flood season.  After all of this moisture in the fall, it is going to be vital that we receive a below average precipitation winter in order to avoid a large spring flood.  Definitely way too early to start thinking about that stuff, but unfortunately its always on my radar.

We are slowly getting to a few of the last tees that we needed to renovate this year.  4 tee has been rough shaped and sand capped, and 6, 7, and 11 tees have the old turf surface removed.  We need a few more days of good drying so we can get the skid steer back into a few bunkers to get some sand out to cap those tees with.  1 tee will be the last one we do.

Leaves and water make for a horrible mess this time of year.

We are in bad need of adding some significant gravel to our cartpats next
year.  Some paths have depressed so far that they are more of a water
channel than a cartpath after a big rain.

After the leaves in the bunkers get rained on, the water washes sand over
the leaves making them impossible to blow.  We have to rake out most of
the leaves out of the bunkers after the latest rain.
6 tee stripped off and ready for sand

A great view of the thatch layer that was left over even after the top 1" of
turf surface was removed.  This layer is one of the main reasons that
we are renovating the tees by removing the surface and capping
with sand.

Fortunately we were able to sneak in our cartpath project on hole 9 before all the rain came.  I am really excited about this area as it will make a great focal point for everyone driving up to the clubhouse.  We formed a landscaping bed below the main retaining wall that we will plant full of flowers next year.

We are starting to get pretty good at pouring roundabouts.

Andy putting the finishing touches on the new cartpath

Lastly, believe it or not there have been a few nice fall days for golf, so I will end this post on a positive note.