Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hot and Humid

The LA Belle is now behind us and The Bellringer is just a short couple of weeks away. My staff and I are focused on the first week of August.  The weather pattern we are in right now has warranted some changes to our maintenance programs. The stress on the turf is very high during these extended hot and humid spells. We will be mowing greens every other day but we will roll every day. You may see a drop in greens speeds, however this is the sort of protocol we need in place to get our turf through this very stressful period. The irrigation system is running as best as it can. Once again, we really see just how efficient or non efficient the system is here at Lakelands. When the weather breaks, we will plan to replace the 2
isolation valves that failed last week. One valve is in 18 fairway about 30 yards from the green, and the other is right beside the cart path on 3 close to the green.

The forecast for the remainder of the week calls for highs in the 90's and lows in the 70's with very humid air. This is a perfect storm for another disease called pythium. Pythium can grow and kill a green over night. Hot, humid, moist conditions like what we are experiencing is the recipe for pythium and many other turf diseases as well. Basically, we have a petre dish of turf diseases waiting to express themselves when the right
environmental conditions are there . We have many different chemistry's on the turf right now and  we are on full alert scouting all turf areas for outbreaks.

The following information was sent out yesterday from the turf team at MSU under the direction of  Dr. Joe Vargas.

The hot weather is here and more importantly so are the warm nights. When the nighttime temperatures stay above 68 F, diseases like anthracnose and crown rot anthracnose, brown patch and Pythium blight become a problem. If the warm nights are accompanied by heavy rain showers, then summer patch will also be a problem. If you have not made preventive fungicide applications for these diseases they should be made now. If any of these diseases are already present, curative fungicide applications should be made before the diseases become worse. Remember, if the disease is present, systemic fungicides need to be applied so they can enter the plant and stop the fungus from destroying more tissue. Also, these hot temperatures will stop root growth and cause any roots already present to suberize. This means the turfgrass root systems will not be functioning very well. This is the time to bypass the root system and foliar feed the turf. Needless to say, these hot temperatures will require a lot of hand watering to keep the turf alive. Good luck to everyone and try to stay cool.
Dr. Joe Vargas
MSU Turf Team

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