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Heat + Rain = Dead Grass

First, let me welcome Lane back;
I hope your sabbatical was productive and recharged your batteries! Second, I would also suggest a corollary to the equation, No Wind + Heat = Dead Grass, and that is: Heat + Rain = Dead Grass.

Another area where stress begins to rear its ugly head is in the area of water management- too much, and not enough.
All too often, we see situations where relative humidity is high, and "hand watering" is done to "cool the plants off". Unfortunately, when RH is high, very little of the water
you put down will evaporate, and this creates the potential for several bad things to happen. As Lane described in his post, fans are incredibly important especially in the Southeast because of the need to reduce the local relative humidity so that the plants can manage the heat.
Fungicide programs are also showing excellent differences, and you can tell the difference between those that perform and those that miss a key disease this year.

To give you an idea of just how we are doing this year, a superintendent in TN sent the following out to his colleagues, and I thought it was interesting:

"Over the weekend I had some fun with numbers. I pulled all my weather records for my course for the past 17 years. I counted the number of 90 degree or above days in the months of June , July and August. Pretty interesting. In 2004 we only had 5 days at or above 90 the whole year. 2006, 2007 we had 40 and 47 days respectively. The highest we had ever had in June was 13 in 1996. The highest ever in July was 28 in 1993. The highest ever in August was 29 in 2007.
1993 must have been a rough year because we has 54 days total, but we were closed, rebuilding our greens that year so it didn't hurt me any.

On average we have had 6.8 days in June at or above 90, 11 days in July and 11.5 days in August.

This year we had 18 days at or above 90 in June and we have already had 18 days in July with a week to go.

The numbers are probably a little different in other areas, but by my measure, that had to be the most stressful June for at least the last 17 years and with the exception of 1993, it looks to be the most stressful July. By far the most stressful two month stretch during that time.
Pass this along to others if you think it will make them feel better. Or just remind them that we are all in the same boat, and that football season is getting closer every day."

It seems to me that golf provides an adequate analogy for taking care of turf under this kind of stress. We have all heard some version of the saying, "The person that misses it the best will win", and I think an appropriate version of that for a summer like this is, "The superintendent who knows how to lose a little turf will carry the day". Like he said, "football season is getting closer every day". Try to stay cool everyone!

One response to “Heat + Rain = Dead Grass”

Turf Supplies said...

Wonderful! This is the simplest explanation, I have ever come across. This is the easy way to understand Turf and Grass.

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