Monday, August 31, 2015

TOUGH COUPLE OF WEEKS

August is going out like a bear and September is coming in like a Tiger!!!!  Hot and Dry are the two operative words for the past couple of weeks. (And the forecast calls for more of the same)    We are putting the irrigation system to the supreme test.   So,  How do we determine what and how long to water?   There is quite a bit to it and I'll give you the quick version so I don't bore you too much.    We first  monitor the current weather using our weather station located by our nursery on #6. That measures Temperature, Relative Humidity, Wind and Evaporation.  We check the Internet for the forecast. Believe it or not Humidity and even clouds can make a big difference. We also use portable soil meters.   Ted is checking the moisture in the 14 green.  Water can move funny through soils.  It is not uncommon to find large differences just a few feet apart.  We do a lot of hand watering to supply just enough water only where it is needed.








We also have soil sensors in the ground.   Here is a picture of a repeater that transmits the data from the soil sensor unit to the shops computer.  We can  monitor moisture and  temperature at two different soil depths.  3 inches and 7 inches.














Here is picture of the computer screen showing moisture and Temperature readings at the 3 inch depth.   The sensors also measure Salinity which we don't have to worry too much about.  

















Here the screen is tracking the daily history.  You can see there are quite a bit of ups and downs.   Temperatures fluctuate greatly from day to night and you can also tell when we irrigated.










As you can see there is a lot that goes into the decision as to what, where and how much water is applied.  We are constantly monitoring and checking.   Trying to keep the moisture levels in the "Goldilocks Zone"  Not too wet and Not too Dry.








Friday, August 21, 2015

AERIFICATION UPDATE


Some good news:  This years aerification went quite well despite the hot weather.   We made smaller holes this year.   Ball Roll is not severely impacted and they actually were stimping at 10 this afternoon.  Some spots in fairways dried up a bit but I expect them to recover with in a week or so. We are playing winter rules until then.
The aerification process being done on 9 green.  

#11 fairway just after it was aerified.


6 green after clean up and top-dressed.

 
7 fwy.  after clean up.   --playing winter rules 






Thursday, August 13, 2015

RECYCLE, TRIM TREES, AND HERE COME THE MONARCHS!!!



This year we started providing 
bottled water.  One of the Greens staff is taking advantage of the nickel deposits.  Here is Chico with a loaded car.   We were recycling but the town does not give us any rebates for doing this.  I am glad someone is taking this opportunity to the bank!!!!!   


These guys sure look vicious but they are really harmless.  They are Cicada Killing wasps.   They catch a cicada, bring it to their burrow and lay an egg on it.  The Cicada becomes breakfast for the newly hatched wasp.  



There were some low hanging branches on # 6.  They were stopping the irrigation water from reaching the rough.   Here Tony and Marcos are removing the lower limbs. 






Irrigation water can now reach the rough on the other side of the tree.  











I am glad to report that the Monarch Butterflies have finally arrived.  They have been placed on the threatened species list and need all the help they can get.  








We have set up our aquarium again this year.  You can follow there development from Egg, Caterpillar, Chrysalises to 
Butterfly. 
They only lay there eggs on Milkweed which we allow to grow in different areas around the course.   They migrate all the way to Mexico every winter.   We joined "Monarch Watch"  which is a program run by the University of Kansas.  Every fall we tag and release Monarchs in an attempt to help study there migration habits.