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Herons Glen Greens Update. History  Typical life span of a green in South Florida with Ultra dwarf Bermudagrass is 10 – 15 years.  Herons Glens Greens.

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Presentation on theme: "Herons Glen Greens Update. History  Typical life span of a green in South Florida with Ultra dwarf Bermudagrass is 10 – 15 years.  Herons Glens Greens."— Presentation transcript:

1 Herons Glen Greens Update

2 History  Typical life span of a green in South Florida with Ultra dwarf Bermudagrass is 10 – 15 years.  Herons Glens Greens Renovated in 2006 with Tif-Eagle Ultra dwarf Bermudagrass built to USGA specifications.

3 Decline in Green Health  Main reason is excessive organic matter buildup in root zone.  A buildup of organic matter is a gradual process that occurs when the rate of plant-deposited biomass exceeds the rate of microbial decomposition and the physical removal through aerification and verticutting.

4 What does this mean?  As the grass grows, naturally, parts of the plant including roots begin to decompose in the upper ½ inch of the soil.  As they break down the plant material turns into thatch and eventually organic matter.  Without physically removing the thatch, the layer of organic matter continues to grow and eventually will encompass the entire root zone.  As organic matter grows, it eliminates space for air and increases the water holding capabilities of the root zone.  Without air, the soil begins to create toxic gasses such as Sulfur and Carbon Dioxide.  The increased water, combined with gasses will eventually suffocate the plant.

5 Limiting Organic Matter  Aerification  Verticutting  Sand Topdressing  Avoid Excess fertilization  Compaction

6 Aerification  Opens up pore space, allowing the soil to breath.  Replace built up organic matter with USGA sand.

7 Verticutting  Removing the uppermost layer of thatch before it has a chance to break down into organic matter.  Opens up channels for new sand to be incorporated into soil profile.  Reduces “grain” in the green.  Creates smoother greens.

8 Topdressing  Incorporating new sand into the root zone.  Helps to minimize thatch and break down organic matter.  Creates a firmer, smoother putting surface.

9 Excess Fertilization  Excessive Nitrogen causes rapid growth in the plant, thus creating more plant material which ultimately turns into thatch.  Tif-Eagle requires approximately 1 lb. Nitrogen/1000 ft 2 /growing month.

10 Compaction  Most difficult to manage.  Caused by equipment and foot traffic.  Core aeration in summer.  “Pencil” tines or venting in winter months.

11 What does organic matter look like? #6 Green January 2005

12 #6 Green January 2010

13 #6 Green January 2013

14 Comparison #6 Green 2005 #6 Green 2010

15 ISTRC Report January 22, 2010

16 Comparison #6 Green 2010 #6 Green 2013

17 What does this mean?  Current aerification practices are helping but not enough.  Weekly sand topdressing is helping to dilute the organic matter in the upper 3 inches of the root zone but we must continue this practice.

18 What can we do?  Increase number of core aerifications in the summer.  Perform double aerification in June and July.  Will require closing on Monday and Tuesday during these 2 weeks.  Will require additional temp. labor on Monday and Tuesday during these aerifications.  Greens will have double the amount of holes in them requiring additional time to fully recover.  Proposed Aerification Dates:  May 6 th  June 10 th (Double)  July 15 th (Double)  August 19 th

19 Additional Challenges  Shade  Contamination/Encroachment  Nematodes

20 Shade  Bermudagrass requires 8-10 hours of direct sunlight/day.  Morning sun is especially important to dry grass from overnight irrigation and dew.  Excess moisture creates disease, shallow roots and algae.

21 #8 Green Photo taken at 12:00 pm

22 # 10 Green Photo taken at 12:00 pm

23 Consequences  Shade combined with high organic matter in the soil = recipe for disaster!  Root zone never has a chance to dry out resulting in even more organic matter.  Ultimately loss of grass is inevitable.

24 What can we do?  Trimming trees is simply not enough.  Removal of select trees becomes necessary.

25 Contamination  Contamination occurs when foreign grasses, typically from the collar grow in the putting surface.  Most often begins during grow in process.  Causes uneven, inconsistent putting surface.

26 #16 Green Contamination

27 #16 Greens Contamination

28 What can we do?  In severe cases often times it is too late.  Must be controlled during grow in process.  Foreign grasses need to be physically removed early on when plant is small to prevent spreading.  Very noticeable when dew present.

29 Encroachment  The grass from the collar creeps into the putting surface decreasing the size of the green.  Greens can easily shrink up to 25% over a period of time if not controlled.  Allows foreign grass to find its way into the middle of the green via mowing equipment.

30 What can we do?  Green perimeters must be stick edged almost weekly beginning with the grow in process.  Manually remove “runners” from putting surface.  Encroachment is so severe that the affected green perimeter along with a portion of the collar would have to be sod cut to a depth of up to 6 inches. New soil added and re-sprigged.  This process is very time consuming and labor intensive. Sprigs must be continuously hand watered when first planted for up to a month.  Perimeters of greens would have to remain free from foot traffic until fully grown in, approximately 90 days.  In my best estimation, using in house labor and materials we would only be able to repair 2-3 greens in a summer.  In my opinion, given the current condition of the greens, spending large amounts of time, money and labor to correct the encroachment problem would not be cost effective.

31 #7 Green Original Size

32 Edging greens and removing runners

33 Nematodes   Nematodes are unsegmented roundworms, different from earthworms that are segmented.   Only visible through a microscope.   As Nematodes feed on the root system of the plant they reduce the ability of the grass to obtain water and nutrients from the soil.   Over-compaction reduces oxygen penetration to the root system and enhances susceptibility to nematode damage.   Excessive nitrogen fertilization can increase succulent root growth and tips which are more susceptible to nematode damage.   The threshold for “Sting” Nematodes in Bermudagrass is 10-25/ft 3 of soil.   Soil tests performed on Putting Green, numbers: 1,2,6,8 and 10 in October of 2012 show Sting Nematode levels of 88 – 144/ft 3 of soil.


35 What can we do?   Increased cultural practices   Aerification   Sand Topdressing   Limiting Nitrogen Fertilization   Chemical Control   Nemacur   Highly effective   No longer available. Banned by E.P.A.   Currently using Neo-Tec   Sesame Oil   Does not kill Nematode, simply protects the root from damage.   Results have been positive however, Large number of Nematodes still present in the soil.

36 What can we do?   Soil Fumigant   Curfew is only available fumigant that can be applied safely to turf.   It is injected into soil with specialized machinery.   Some surface damage can be expected from machinery and gases coming to the surface.   Has a re-entry period of 24 hours.   Kills all nematodes present in soil at time of application.   Does not have any residual effect.   Possibility of Nematodes returning.   We will be applying Curfew to our greens on Monday, May 20 th.   Putting Green and numbers 1-10 will be treated.   Notices will be sent out via newsletter and e-mail as we get closer.   Signage will be posted in numerous spots on every hole.


38 Back to the beginning  Herons Glen greens built in 2006  Expected life span of Ultra Dwarf Bermudagrass green in Southwest Florida 10-15 years.

39 Take home message  Increased aerification is a must to manage organic matter.  Continue sand topdressing and verticutting.  Manage shade issues by removing select trees.  Prepare for greens renovation in the future.

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