Thursday, August 29, 2013

Brown Grass in Newly Seeded Areas

If you have been paying close attention, you may have noticed some of the grass in the newly seeded areas (mostly on #10, #11, #13 and #18) is turning brown. Since the past week has been dry, your first thought might be that some of the grass seedlings are drying out. That is not the primary culprit. Two weeks ago, we noticed that a lot of the plants coming in were either crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis) or Yellow Nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus.) These weeds would die off at the first hard frost but would germinate from seeds(crabgrass and nutsedge) and/or tubers (nutsedge) in subsequent years. Luckily, there are herbicides that can kill the weeds and hopefully, prevent that from happening. It is hoped that by spraying this product now, when the areas are first growing in and populations are not high, we can avoid having these weeds in later seasons. What you are seeing as brown grass is the weeds starting to die off. We go at low rates of the herbicide and do multiple applications in order to minimize the risk to the desirable turfgrasses and to prevent herbicide runoff.

Along #18, you can see patches of the brown "grass."

More patches between #10 tee (foreground) and the fairway. Most of this area was Yellow Nutsedge.

The left side of #13 fairway. You can see a greener line to the left of the cart path. This was an area where the contractor had a problem with the irrigation line. They had to dig it up after it was originally seeded and hand spread the seed after fixing the irrigation. This meant they put down more seed per square foot. The resulting turfgrasses came in thick enough to discourage the weeds from germinating.

A closer picture. The brown, spider-like clumps are crabgrass. This form is how it got it's common name.

Here is a much closer image. You can see the turfgrasses are growing amongst the dying crabgrass and are looking very healthy.

The brown clumps here are sedges. The common name for the herbicide we used for sedges is "Sedgehammer" which I think is an awesome and well chosen marketing ploy.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Huron Hills Flagpole.

The flagpole at Huron Hills had fallen into disuse in recent years because the crab apple trees flanking the pole had grown over into the space were a flag would fly.

The old flagpole.

Looking up from near the base of the pole.

Originally, we had thought about many options to remedy this situation. We would need to prune to much of the trees to make the flagpole usable again. We also thought about completely removing one of the trees. Neither of these options were suitable.

The next option was to pull the old flagpole out and move it to another location. This would have been feasible, but upon closer inspection, the old pole was in need of some scrapping and new paint. We then began researching how much a new pole would cost. During this investigation, I found a company in Rochester Hills that makes flagpoles. Because they are local (more or less) the cost of them delivering and installing the pole was not much more than just getting a new flagpole from another company. We opted to have them install a 30 foot tall, anodized aluminum flagpole in between the clubhouse and practice green.
The American flag with the Huron Hills flag beneath it.

Here you can see the old flagpole embedded in the trees on the left, near the parking lot.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Huron Rain Shelters

The rain shelters at Huron Hills were in desperate need of new roofing. In addition, the shelter near #13 green had been hit by a falling tree limb and needed some repair. Last week, we had a contractor come in to take off the old cedar shakes and put modern shingles on them.

The shelter near #13 green. Notice the moss growing on the wooden roof.

This corner needs repair due to a tree limb.

Workers remove the old cedar roof near #6 tee.

The shelter on #6 tee looks almost as good as new.

#13 shelter before.

#13 shelter after.

The damaged corner before.

The repaired corner.

The damaged corner from inside the shelter.

The corner after repair.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

July 2013 Weather Summary

July was interesting. It started out warm and wet, turned hot and dry and then ended cool (for July) and wet. We had four straight days with high temperatures above 90 degrees (July 16-19.) This happened during the week leading up to the City of Ann Arbor Golf Championship. The low temperature during those four days was 71.1 degrees. The 19th had the highest temperature for the month at 92.5 degrees, while the lowest temperature recorded was 48.4 (July 25th.) The average temperature was 71.7 degrees.  From the 24th until the end of the month, the high temperature did not get above 78 degrees and lowest daily high temperature (65.5) occurred on the 28th. Certainly not typical July temperatures.

For the month, Leslie Park Golf Course recorded 2.93 inches of rain. The ninth had the largest single rain event at 1.25 inches. From that day until the 20th, we had no rain. This was also the hottest stretch of weather during the month. Ten days is not a long time to go without rain during the summer. Just last year, we went 21 days without rain during July. Thirteen days had a measurable amount of rain and six days had over a tenth of an inch.

The highest wind gust recorded was 39 mph (July 9th) and the average wind speed was 1.4 mph.