Posted by Lane Tredway at 1:38 PM Tuesday, July 27, 2010 Labels: bacterial wilt , brown patch , creeping bentgrass , putting greens , Pythium root rot , Rhizoctonia , Southeast , summer decline , summer patch , summer stress
For those of you who were hoping that my first post would be on bacterial wilt, I am sorry to disappoint you, but we have more important problems here in the Southeast right now.
Several years ago, I got a call from an angry homeowner who lived in a golf course community. The golf course superintendent had installed a fan adjacent to the green in her back yard. Said fan was preventing her from enjoying her patio, keeping her awake at night, and reducing the value of her property.
She must have been a scientist of some sort, because she asked me if I had a mathematical model that could be used to determine if a fan was necessary. So I broke out my plant physiology, meteorology, and calculus books and after several weeks of analysis, I came up with the following equation:
NO WIND + HEAT = DEAD GRASS
I don't think she liked that answer because I never heard from her again. But this summer is proving my equation to be correct: I have never seen fans make such a huge difference in the survival of creeping bentgrass putting greens as they are this year. Just about everywhere I've visited, the creeping bentgrass being impacted by fans is relatively healthy, whereas the turf furthest away from the fans or on greens without fans is really struggling.
It's been a difficult summer and there's no sign of it getting any easier. But if one positive thing can come out of it, we can use it to demonstrate the benefit of turf fans, fine tune the placement of existing fans, or fight for the money to install additional fans. Don't miss this opportunity!
On the disease side, a number of superintendents in our area are still struggling with Pythium root rot, and some summer patch is also showing up on creeping bentgrass greens. For more information about these diseases, please see the following post from last year.