Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Don’t Fool Mother Nature

Over the last several days we have been enjoying some above average temperatures, which has caused the significant areas of melting to begin. Due to the nature of the severe mounding found throughout the course the runoff flows directly into the fairways.

In efforts to help prevent significant ice formation from occurring, snow is being removed from some of the northern exposure areas in the fairways. This is being done to help reduce the amount of ice that forms under the snow cover found in the fairways. By removing the snow before the runoff occurs, these fairway areas will be able to better absorb and utilize the precious moisture for plant life support.

We do not remove the snow entirely from these areas, because the turfgrass underneath has not hardened off due to the protective insulation provided by the snow cover. I believe it is more beneficial if the turf hardens itself over the next several days or week as the remaining snow layer slowly melts away. If the protective snow cover is removed too quickly then Crown hydration (cold temperature damage) can occur to the turf.

Some things are better left for Mother Nature to control, but when human manipulation is necessary great care must be taken not shoot yourself in the foot.