Winter to Summer
Well, with highs reaching the 90s, I think we can officially say that winter is behind us. With a record numbers of days with frost, and above average rainfall, I think we can all say we're looking forward to a little warm sun on our faces. That said, it won't be long before we're wishing for winter again! Such is life as Phonecians.
I'm going to sound like a broken record, and will continue to repeat over the coming weeks- TRANSITION IS HERE.
For those of you new to the overseeded-golf-course-in-the-desert world, or purhaps have just forgotten, transition is the time of year when the cool season ryegrass begins to die (and is later chemically eradicated- more on that in the coming weeks) and the warm season bermudagrass comes out of dormancy.
So why is transition such a difficult, and ugly, time for the golf course? Well to start, the dark green ryegrass begins to go off color. It will begin to naturally die out, but not consistently, which will cause a non-uniform look throughout the golf course. Then, once the ryegrass is totally eradicated, all that's left is a fresh-out-of-dormancy, beat-up bermudagrass base. Because bermudagrass does not thrive in dry conditions, if often takes until July for it to really begin gaining some momentum. High traffic areas are always the most notible problem areas, so we will be paying close attention to them over the next several weeks.
So, how do we minimize the effects of transition? Irrigation management, traffic management, lowering heights of the ryegrass, fertilizer, chemical eradication of the ryegrass, and verticutting are all apart of a combined strategy for the best outcome possible.
This year will be a little unusual- with such an immature bermudagrass base going into winter, the early part of this summer is going to be pretty rocky. But with the strategy outlined above, I'm confident we'll come out of it quickly and smoothly (with minimal disruption to the tee sheet!!)
So bare with us, it's likely that we're looking at our ugliest June and July to date, but if we play our cards right (and I know we will) we'll be on our way to our best August and beyond.