Friday, 27 May 2011

Poa Annua

The Annual Bluegrass or "Poa Annua" is seeding now. Most golfers have heard of it but are not really sure what it is. It is an invasive turf grass that thrives on closely mown turf (greens) in all cool regions of the world. It also grows well in shade, wet soils, compacted soils, and stressed areas. It will invade a creeping bentgrass green where ever and when ever the bent grass is stressed from ball marks, foot traffic, damage from disease etc. Most golf courses have a combination of creeping bentgrass and poa annua thus the term poa/bent greens. Some older courses have greens with virtually 100% poa annua where as brand new golf course will have 100% creeping bentgrass greens for the first few years. The problem with poa annua greens is the seed heads it produces this time of year giving the green a whitish appearance. These seed heads affect ball roll making greens bumpy and slower than other times of the year. It is also a weaker grass during the heat of the summer and is very susceptible to winter injury as Victoria Park East experienced last year. Other than that it is actually a really good grass to putt on. In fact some of the best golf courses in North America have all poa  greens. An example of these would be Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania and closer to home would be Westmount Golf and Country Club in Kitchener and Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Ancaster. The seed heads will last another couple of weeks here at Victoria Park East. The seed heads along with the grass growing like crazy and the wet conditions are causing issues for optimum ball roll. I am are aware of this issue and am thankful for your patience.
Until next time.
David DeCorso

Sunday, 22 May 2011

The Grass is Growing!

The grass is growing like crazy at the Valley, at the East course, at my house, and everywhere else. I am sure I don't have to tell you that. You are all probably mowing your lawn more than you like and having a hard time doing it between the rains. At the East course we literally cannot keep up to the rough. I hear comments like "Nice US Open rough!" Believe me, this is not intentional. This is the time of year the grass grows the most. Add that with all the rain, warm temperatures, fertilizer kicking in, and watch out. The  picture above is hole B7 at the Valley course. As you can see the fairway is filling in nicely.

Seed Germination at the Valley. This picture shows green C7 at the Valley. The Creeping Bentgrass has just germinated. The green was seeded about one week ago. We seeded four greens before the rains came last week. We still have to  seed six greens and two pratice greens as well as eleven fwys and rough. The crew needs about three days of drying time after a significant rainfall to work. They have only worked one week this spring because of the rain. After the seeding is done light rains would be welcome. At night of course! Am I asking too much? Until next time.
David DeCorso 

Thursday, 12 May 2011

They're Back at the Valley

The contractors  (Hamilton Construction) we have hired to build Victoria Park Valley started work this week. Their goal is to finish seeding the first 18 holes so the golf course will be well established by next spring. They will then concentrate on the third nine holes. The picture on the left shows the permiter of green C3 being prepared for seed. The blue/green stuff is hydro mulch which the use around greens and on severe slopes.

The first holes that were seeded are establishing quite well. We have been mowing some greens regularly and have started mowing the roughs and fairways. I will have some good pictures soon.
Thanks for reading.
David DeCorso

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Rain! Rain! Rain!

April showers better bring nice May flowers because it has not brought out many golfers. This April has been the worst in recent memory. Spring rain is good for turf grass and all other plants but enough already. The maintenance staff have been trying their best to catch up on spring projects and train new employees before the grass really starts to take off. And it will. Some areas are too wet to mow and the grass keeps growing. I was hoping to verti cut the greens and topdress them with sand. We need dry weather for this. We started the irrigation system last week and have a fairly long list of repairs which is also hard to do when it is cold and rainy.

Victoria Park Valley Update - I have had to cancel three appointments with the golf course construction company to do a site walk and deteremine when they are going to start work on seeding the last eleven holes. My staff has also been unable to do much because it has been so wet. Damage will occur on new seedlings much more than established turf. We will try agin next week.
Take Care
David DeCorso