Much of California, Arizona and parts of Nevada are looking pretty wet & cold right now. Conditions are about perfect for pink snow mold/Microdochium patch with daytime temps in the 50s-low60s.
Activity in the lab has been pretty low, but cool season Pythium was picked up from both Ventura and Monterey counties last week.
Poor drainage and wet weather are perfect for pink snow mold and cool season Pythium - keep your eyes out for both of these this next week in California.
Hawaii Rapid Blight Surprise
About two weeks ago, we confirmed the presence of rapid blight from a course from the big island in Hawaii on annual bluegrass. Although it's not a complete surprise considering the amount of movement (seed, golfers, tourists, etc.) between the mainland and Hawaii, it's still disconcerting considering some of the salt issues that certain Hawaiian golf courses can face. In this case, and the case of rapid blight samples from Colorado last spring, total dissolved salts were not that high. Sodium is the key salt associated with rapid blight, and although sodium is usually elevated when you have high TDS-readings, elevated sodium may not always be associated with high TDS.
(Image by Mike Goldsberry, Wing Point Golf & Country Club)
Superintendents in Western Washington and Oregon are having one hell of a time these past six months. First it was triple digit temperatures in July, Pythium outbreaks in the fall and now a lot of winterkill brought on by a week of freezing temperatures in early and late December. Drs. Gwen Stanke and Rob Golembiewski (WSU and OSU, respectively) are on top of it, but have grim forecasts for freeze affected superintendents.
See this press release from the Oregon GCSA and Oregon State University
Additionally, USGA Agronomist Larry Gilhuly will be making a USGA Green Section Webcast this Monday, January 23 at 11 a.m. PST detailing the widespread damage.
Around the end of December, we started getting a number of inquiries from PNW courses about cold weather diseases. Annual bluegrass samples from 5 golf course putting greens in the area revealed no active pathogens, and many of the samples had watery, dead turf with very shallow roots. I think what has happened here is a combination of poor summer growing conditions, solid disease pressure this fall followed by two good freezes. The crappy thing about this is that there's really nothing you can spray to make good weather and decent growing conditions for putting green recovery. The best thing you can probably do in this case is keep the traffic off damaged areas, raise mowing heights, spoon feed with nitrogen and keep the algae out with chlorothalonil or mancozeb.
Bob Hope, the Man, the Legend, the Classic
(Hint to the blue party – you guys better get your act together after what happened in Massachusetts)
This week brings one of California's biggest charity golf events to the Coachella Valley. The Bob Hope Classic is currently being played at four courses: Nicklaus and Palmer Private Courses at PGA West (Supt. Dean Miller), La Quinta Country Club (Tim Putnam) and Silver Rock Resort (Willie Lopez), making for one of the biggest events in Coachella during the year. Watching on TV – the ryegrass fairways and rough bluegrass greens look pretty darn good for the tournament.
In addition to the celebrities, pomp and circumstance, and turfgrass (of course)…there's the 'Classic Girls' of the tournament!
(For you guys on Facebook)
Here's wishing Dean, Tim & Willie a great tournament and some drier playing conditions for the rest of the week!
Question of the Week
My home lawn is getting overrun with annual bluegrass – how do I get rid of it permanently?
Cousin Julie from Sammamish, WA
Dear Cousin Julie
If I knew how to get rid of annual bluegrass permanently, I'd be a millionaire.
Annual bluegrass management for home lawns can be difficult since homeowners don't have full access to all of the herbicides that professional pesticide applicators can use.
Some useful guidelines for homeowners can be found here: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7464.html
If I figure something out – I'll split the proceeds with you and the rest of the family.
Until Next Week, Signing off From the Right Coast….