|Cercis canadensis 'Appalachian Red' in full bloom and covered in snow!|
It has been an unusual April. Typically, this month is cool and wet; however, this year April produced a plethora of extreme warm, cold and dry conditions. After starting the month with snow and frigid temperatures, that killed off early blooming flowers, it then quickly pushed up to 80° for a week. Then in the middle of the month three inches of snow fell along with many frost delays. This was a perfect setup for the tulips, pushing them into bloom around Easter, and the cool second half extended their flowers an extra week. In addition, the dry conditions throughout the month allowed the golf course to play firm-similar to late fall conditions. As we move forward the chances for rain seem to be increasing which would cause the golf course to go back to regular spring conditions-soft, wet, long rough, and medium green speeds.
|Sauces magnolia's flowers scorched by an early spring freeze|
|The golf course on April 21st|
|Annual tulip display|
Our green's maintenance program is underway. Topdressing, verticutting, and spraying have begun, helping to make the putting surfaces firm and fast during the early spring season. On June 1, the greens are scheduled for deep-tine aerification and the course will be closed. This is a much needed procedure that will help the health of the greens heading into the very stressful summer season (for more information click here for an informative USGA article. on aeration).
The taxus bushes adjacent to #1 tee were removed. This will help with safety, allowing people coming from the driving range to see golfers teeing off #1 tee, and opening up the view of the golf course from the pro shop and patio dinning area. It will take a couple weeks for the sod to root in, but judging by the initial reception it was a much needed improvement.
|Taxus bushes before|
|Sodding in the snow|
|#1 tee after removal and new sod added|
|Extra sod was used in the bare area by #16 green bunker|
|Lesser celandine taking over the wood’s floor by #4 tee|
|Herbicide spray of all the rough has been completed|
The irrigation system is up and running and, as usually is the case, many irrigation leaks have needed to be repaired. Bell-end pipe leaks and loose irrigation heads have been the most abundant issues in the early season.
|A fixed pipe leak #10 tee|
|Bell-end pipe leak #3 tee|
Brad Piecuch Grounds Superintendent