Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Compost Application

We are applying compost to the playing surfaces (Tees, Fairways and Rough) starting with the tees. There are a number of benefits as follows from Washington State University.

Compost Benefits

Using compost as mulch, in the soil or as potting media is beneficial in many ways.
Compost contains a full spectrum of essential plant nutrients. You can test the nutrient levels in your compost and soil to find out what other supplements it may need for specific plants.
  • Compost contains macro and micronutrients often absent in synthetic fertilizers.
  • Compost releases nutrients slowly—over months or years, unlike synthetic fertilizers
  • Compost enriched soil retains fertilizers better. Less fertilizer runs off to pollute waterways.
  • Compost buffers the soil, neutralizing both acid & alkaline soils, bringing pH levels to the optimum range for nutrient availability to plants.
Compost helps bind clusters of soil particles, called aggregates, which provide good soil structure. Such soil is full of tiny air channels & pores that hold air, moisture and nutrients.
  • Compost helps sandy soil retain water and nutrients.
  • Compost loosens tightly bound particles in clay or silt soil so roots can spread, water drain & air penetrate.
  • Compost alters soil structure, making it less likely to erode, and prevents soil spattering on plants—spreading disease.
  • Compost can hold nutrients tight enough to prevent them from washing out, but loosely enough so plants can take them up as needed.
  • Compost makes any soil easier to work.
Compost brings and feeds diverse life in the soil. These bacteria, fungi, insects, worms and more support healthy plant growth.
  • Compost bacteria break down organics into plant available nutrients. Some bacteria convert nitrogen from the air into a plant available nutrient.
  • Compost enriched soil have lots of beneficial insects, worms and other organisms that burrow through soil keeping it well aerated.
  • Compost may suppress diseases and harmful pests that could overrun poor, lifeless soil.
Healthy soil is an important factor in protecting our waters. Compost increases soil’s ability to retain water & decreases runoff. Runoff pollutes water by carrying soil, fertilizers and pesticides to nearby streams.
  • Compost encourages healthy root systems, which decrease runoff
  • Compost can reduce or eliminate use of synthetic fertilizers
  • Compost can reduce chemical pesticides since it contains beneficial microorganisms that may protect plants from diseases and pests.
  • Only a 5% increase in organic material quadruples soils water holding capacity.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Reduced Inputs

In an effort to be more sustainable and reduce our inputs, we have begun the process of seeding around the trees.  This will reduce the amount of mulch we use on the golf course as well as the labor in maintaining the weeds in the mulch.  

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Golf Course Update

Warm weather is approaching and we are looking forward to the start of the 2016 golf season. Our winter projects have been kicked into high gear and we have been making steady progress on our punch list. The staff has completed the install of five part circle rough irrigation heads on #8 after the left fairway bunker. This area has given us trouble in the past because of the lack of irrigation, cart traffic, and the hill that it sits on. There is also being an irrigation head added to number nine next to the path as you walk up to the green. With proper irrigation coverage, our rough will be greatly enhanced and more consistent in these weak areas.

In the past, we would have a portable fan located on our third green, it was powered by a generator and at times extremely loud when in use. We have developed a plan to permanently mount the fan next to the green and wire it to the power coming off the gazebo behind the fourth tee box, eliminating the use of the generator. Our fairway deep tine is in progress and we are happy to say that the completion of this agronomic program will be finished early next week. This process punches a hole approximately 6-8 inches deep for deeper root penetration. You will also notice that we have not started our annual fairway topdressing application for the fairways. We opted to move this to the end of March and splitting the applications to two times a year rather than one heavy application during the winter. Our goal is to start March 21st and have this completed in 5 days, weather permitting.

Greens aerification is complete for the first half of the year, our next heavy aerification will be on the regular scheduled time in mid-August. The tee aerification schedule will commence next week and will take the majority of the week to finish.  Number 1 cart path edge is receiving a stone curb next to the tee boxes, this will keep traffic from driving on the grass and make a nicer look as you approach the first tee.

With the warmer weather looming for next week, the greens will be open for play starting Tuesday March 8th. They will be sandy until the grass begins to grow and fill in.

#3 Fan Install

#8 Irrigation Install

Fairway Deep Tine 

#1 stone cart path edge prep

#1 stone curb example