Calcium Products - Displaying items by tag: maintenance

Calcium Products - Displaying items by tag: maintenance

Wear Tolerance in Turfgrass

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Turfgrass species matter

Wear tolerance is one of the most important characteristics of different turfgrass species when making decisions on which to include in various settings. Wear tolerance is very dependent on species, environment, and management practices. Certain species have physiological differences that make them more tolerant of wear and aid in their ability to recuperate after significant wear events. 

Turfgrass species in cool-season environments

In cool-season settings, perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass are typically associated with the best wear tolerance and recuperative ability, respectively. They are often used in conjunction to provide the best overall traffic tolerance in athletic fields. 

In golf greens and an increasing number of fairways, however, due to low mowing height requirements and aesthetics, creeping bentgrass is the species of choice. Creeping bentgrass can be mowed easily to green heights and exhibits fair to good wear tolerance that can withstand wear associated with players’ foot traffic and maintenance operations’ vehicle traffic.

Turfgrass species in warm-season environments

In warm-season settings, hybrid Bermuda grasses are often chosen for both sports and golf applications as it has excellent wear tolerance, recuperative ability, and certain dwarf-type cultivars can tolerate low mowing heights for greens. 

Impact of maintenance programs

Aside from species selection and the traffic environment, your maintenance program can have a significant impact on the overall traffic tolerance of your turfgrass stand. Reducing compaction and closely monitoring your fertility program will maximize the inherent wear tolerance of your stand. Compaction has negative consequences on the root system and can result in quicker wearing of the leaf tissue. 

Ensuring the right amount of nitrogen and potassium promotes recuperative growth and enhanced wear tolerance. However, too much nitrogen can reduce wear tolerance by making the leaf tissue more succulent.

Impact of soil types

Depending on the soil type, it may be necessary for you to pay even closer attention to the fertility program. In sand-based root zones on golf courses or athletic fields, there is less exchange capacity, and therefore, less nutrients available in the soil. Cations such as calcium, magnesium and potassium have fewer sites to attach to and with the coarse nature of the sandy soil texture, anions such as nitrate and sulfate can be easily leached from the profile before plants can access them. 

Establishing nutrient goals (in lbs/1000 ft2)  based on recommendations from your local extension specialist will ensure the best possible growing environment to display the wear tolerance characteristics of your turfgrass stand.

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GCSAA members – the unseen heroes of many a golf course!

Golf Course superintendents’ work is often seen, but they are rarely seen or their work realized. It is not an uncommon practice for the maintenance staff at a golf facility to be up working well before the sun comes up.

As a PGA member since 1999, I certainly appreciate the hard work and dedication it takes to be in the golf industry, but I know it takes even more hard work and dedication to be in charge of the grounds and maintenance. More times than not, GCSAA members and their colleagues do not get the accolades they deserve. I consider golf course superintendents the unsung heros of the golf industry.

Next time you see your golf course superintendent keep in mind, their jobs are often 24/7 shifts. It takes time, patience, flexibility, and supreme organization to manage 100 acres or more of managed turf, not to mention their staff and their families.

Yes, it is true; superintendents do mow grass, rake bunkers and pick up trash but consider this:

 

YOUR GCSAA MEMBER IS ALSO:

An ambassador for your facility

An environmental steward

A mentor to their staff

An agronomist for the facility

A communicator to the membership

Facility manager for the ground department

Human resources director for their area

OSHA director

Financial planner managing the facility’s largest portion of the budget

Material scheduler and planner

Landscape and golf course architect

A certified, licensed applicator

An artist

A mechanic

An irrigation technician

Meteorologist

Public speaker

An educator

A political activist

ALL IN A SINGLE DAY’S WORK!

The next time you head out the golf course, be sure to spend a couple of minutes getting to know the golf course superintendent and thank him for all the hard work and commitment they provide for your golfing enjoyment!

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