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How do you prepare for the weather?

First, I'd like to welcome Maria Tomaso-Peterson to the blog. She posted the other day and you can catch it here if you missed it.

It's been a while since I have sat down and looked at the weather since I've been traveling, but I got a quick glimpse of what Megan, Jim, and Damon were referring to when I looked at the forecast for this upcoming week. According to's 5-day forecast, temps are going to peak Thursday through Saturday and everyone from Washington, D.C. along the coast and up to Boston are going to be hit with temperatures in the high 90's to over 100.

As we move into the heart of the summer, we have to watch out for the typical diseases such as brown patch, summer patch, Pythium and the like. After a good lesson that many golf course superintendents had last summer regarding how much their turf can be pushed and perhaps what to do to prepare, I decided to call out to those on twitter to ask the following:

" are you preparing for the upcoming weather. 140 or less."  
(for those of you losers not on twitter, '140 or less' refers to the number of characters you can type).  
As you can see from some of the posts, people find different things important, but a few things that stood out to me included the importance of irrigation, communication, and maybe a little prayer. Thanks to the following twits for helping (sorry if I missed yours): Greg Shaffer, Mike Jones, Bob Porter, Sam Green, and Ryan Cummings. If you're on twitter, be sure to follow these turfers.

Leave in the comments anything else YOU can add to the list of preparations prior to a major heat wave!

Regional Updates:
USGA Northeastern Update
USGA Mid-Atlantic Update

Weather forecast video

One response to “How do you prepare for the weather?”

Jon Lobenstine said...

Last year was definitely a learning experience! Every program, from mowing heights to cultural practices, fertilizer choices, plant protectants, was tested to its limits. For 2011 the biggest changes for me are just tightening up the spray intervals to 7 days on greens/tees/fairways during the hellish weather. Also, obviously water management is key, and potentially having my guys stay until 7:00 or 8:00 pm to baby the greens may be necessary, so I'm having them catch a break here and there this week by coming in late on alternating days to try to catch up on some sleep. I want them to stay sharp, and with the crew starting work at 4:00 am all week to beat the afternoon heat as far as mowing, keeping up with rough and trim work, etc., you can imagine that me and my assistants (who regularly come in by 3:00 or 3:30 to get the day started, or 12:30 or 1:00 a.m. when we spray fairways) can get worn out quickly especially dragging hose all day.

I feel we are well ahead of the game with an aggressive biostimulant program to provide pre-stress conditioning. Extreme heat, plus an average of over 300 rounds per day for the month of July (350 on weekends! (18holes)). We use various combinations of amino acid-rich products, seaweed extracts, fish emulsions, molasses, and even a calcium peroxide product to help provide a slow-release form of essential oxygen to roots.

Phosphites are definitely a savior, but as we continue to fine-tune our program with them, we are sticking with a 7-day interval, whereas last year we were 9 or 10 days during the extreme weather and caught a little breakthrough in some spots here in the Mid-Atlantic. The guys who were at 7-day intervals in the same time frame held up great.

42 days until September. Just sayin'.

Good luck, folks!
Jon Lobenstine

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