Saturday, 29 June 2013

Wet weather adds to disease pressure at Victoria Park

Dollar spot disease on fairway
The wet spring has many benefits for the turf at Victoria Park. The rough has never been this lush and thick this time of year. We have hardly had to water the golf course. The water table is high and the course looks great. The downfall of all the rain is we can hardly keep up to keeping the rough mowed and as a result, some golfers complain about how hard it is to play and find their balls. The other problem with so much wet weather and especially the high humidity is the presence of turf diseases. Turf diseases which are also referred to as fungus, pathogens, mould etc. and are the most persistent (and expensive) pest problem on golf courses in southern Ontario. The main reason is the type of turf grass used on most golf courses. Creeping Bentgrass and Annual Bluegrass is much more prone to turf diseases than Kentucky Bluegrass which is primarily found on home lawns. There are also many different types of Turf grass diseases some prefer cool weather and some prefer hot weather. Some diseases will only occur once if the weather conditions are just right and some are more persistent and last all season long. Some disease are more of a nuisance and some can be devastating if left untreated. Some diseases can go untreated  especially if the weather conditions will that caused the outbreak are no longer present. Some diseases do have to be treated with a fungicide. This is especially true for dollar spot. Dollar spot shown in the picture is the most persistent disease at Victoria Park East. The Creeping bentgrass and annual bluegrass (poa) greens, tees and fairways are very susceptible. Golfers may have already noticed the spots about the size of a silver dollar. If left untreated the spots will spread and eventually kill the turf. Lets hope for some less humid weather.
Until next time...

Monday, 3 June 2013

Wildlife at Victoria Park

This fawn was found by members on Sunday morning near the 13th ladies tee at Victoria Park East. I actually drove by it earlier and thought it was a brown paper bag. The humane society was called they moved the fawn to a more secluded spot and told us it is normal for the mother doe to leave the fawn during the day. I checked on the fawn at 5:30am on Monday and it was gone.
The golf course is full of diverse wildlife. Unfortunately most golfers only see the Canadian Geese! This time of year keep an eye out for snapping turtles trying to nest in a sand trap or cart path. Wild Turkeys are becoming more prevalent in our area. They are around but quite shy.

The most unusual presence of wildlife at Victoria Park Valley has been the number of coyote sightings. It is rather the same few coyotes seen frequently. They have always been around but are usually much more aloof of humans. Some people are understandably concerned by this. The coyote's main diet is rodents, small mammals, reptiles, birds, berries and seeds. - NOT GOLFERS!We have spotted what seems to be a den on the golf course which would explain the multiple sightings.   Until next time...... David