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What’s the Web Saying About Turfgrass?

July 9, 2010

Here is a list of links to some interesting articles regarding turf and golf. Have a great weekend!

IPM Planning Guide. The Environmental Institute for Golf has released an IPM Planning Guide. The Institute has developed the free IPM Planning Guide to help superintendents and their facilities create a comprehensive written document that contains the strategies and tactics to manage pests on the golf course…

John Deere Classic Feature. Before everyone heads overseas for next week’s Open Championship at St. Andrews, there’s still a big order of business to take care of – the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill. Zach Johnson from nearby Cedar Rapids, Iowa, will be the main attraction at the event that seems to keep growing steam and prestige…

The Root of it All: Microclover in the lawn? Clover in the lawn is not a new idea, but microclover is a new twist. Clovers and other small plants like wood violets were routinely included in lawn seed mixes prior to World War II. Dr. John Stier, Professor of Environmental Turfgrass Science at UW-Madison, and a UW-Extension Specialist, says that there were a lot of reasons to stop including broadleaf species in turfgrass seed mixtures and to start controlling weeds in lawns…

Does the Grass Know the Cost? Today's golf course superintendent has a huge range of products to choose from for turfgrass fertilization. Competition brings better products, better service on these products, and lower costs. In today's challenging economic times, anything we can do to reduce or control costs is good, especially if the health, appearance, and playability of your turf is not compromised. This article considers options that may do just that. It is a basic discussion about fertilizers. Does the grass really know the difference among the myriad fertilizer products available to today's turf manager…

Hazeltine gets a facelift. Construction on Hazeltine’s new clubhouse began last year; it’s scheduled to open Oct. 1, even though there won’t be any golf to be played. The new clubhouse is designed to attract more special events; the dining and meeting areas will hold nearly double what the old one did. The Chaska golf course is shutting down for nearly a year to get new greens and fairways before the 2016 Ryder Cup…

Rainfall and Fairy Rings Throughout the Midwest. Our wet weather has continued throughout the Midwest. Accompanying the wet weather, has been heat- at least heat for us. I feel guilty saying we are hot when I saw the temperatures forecast for the Northeast and Southeast. On the weather channel this evening a couple took a picture of a bank marquee showing temperatures in New Jersey topping 100 degrees…

Marcus Jones
Graduate Research Assistant


Fairy rings blooming in the Midwest

July 10, 2010

Here is a guest blog from Lee Miller, the new turf pathologist at Missouri. Welcome to the region Lee, hopefully you'll become a regular on the blog site.

Guest blogger:

Dr. Lee Miller, Extension Turfgrass Pathologist, University of Missouri

As other blogs have posted, fairy rings are currently exploding on putting greens throughout the Midwest, and Missouri is no exception. We have had plenty of rain in central MO, and most rings have stayed in the type II or green ring stage. However, some infested soils have turned hydrophobic, and even with our recent flooding rains some turf loss around ring margins has been observed. Another real problem associated with our fairy ring outbreaks and the rains has been basidiocarp or puffball production. Many are reporting having to pick over a hundred puffballs per day on their most affected greens!!!

At this point in the season, curative applications should consist of ProStar, Heritage, or Insignia applied at high rates and tank-mixed with a wetting agent. If the soil has turned hydrophobic, it is also a good idea to do some venting (not just to your spouse) by punching some holes (not just in the wall). This will hopefully allow some water through, and start to restore the balance of soil physical and chemical properties that the fairy ring pathogen has disrupted.

If you are experiencing difficulty this year, you may consider a preventive approach next spring. Recent research has shown two low rate spring applications of the DMI fungicides Bayleton, Triton, Trinity, or Tourney has resulted in good control of fairy ring in the summer. Fungicides were watered in with a ¼’ of irrigation, and best control was afforded when a wetting agent was not tank-mixed but was applied on a regular monthly schedule 2 weeks away from the fungicide application. The best timing of initial application was at 5-day average soil temperatures of 55-60°F, which should occur sometime in mid or late April in the upper Midwest. A follow-up application made 28 days later is necessary to afford the longest residual control.

The picture below shows a bit later DMI application than is recommended, but is still affording good control. DMI applications in high heat periods can cause phytotoxicity due to the growth regulating effects of these fungicides, however, with the amount of rain we have been experiencing this summer these low rate applications have not been an issue on our plots.