We have experienced quite a shift in the weather after a beautiful start to the week. The early morning frost will help slow down the grass even though warmer temperatures are expected this coming week. Our main focus will be working on our list of projects.
This past week we started our fall tree pruning process. We made it through a lot of the deciduous trees on the north end of the golf course. The branches were hauled off the course and stock piled near the maintenance facility. This project will be our main focus through next week.
We prune all of our trees annually at this time of the season. We prune the deciduous trees to keep the branches at a height that does not affect our maintenance practices. The conifers are also pruned so we can easily maintain the vegetation underneath. It’s a time consuming process but it makes our mowing practices a lot easier when we go around trees and also improves playing conditions for the golfers.
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Once the ground freezes during November, we will start removing some of the dead trees around the golf course. We lost a handful of pine trees this season as well as a very large cottonwood. The Street Division assists us with hauling the debris to the landfill. We’re very thankful for their help.
Wednesday and Thursday weren’t good golf days at all but it was perfect weather to aerify the greens. The aerification process helps alleviate compaction in the greens, allows better water movement through the soil profile, and increases root depth. We will aerify again early summer of 2022.
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Back in July we sprayed a preventative insecticide to control the presence of grubs during the fall season. We have seen great control in the fairways, tees, and green surrounds. These areas were all sprayed. This preventative insecticide application will be an annual application moving forward.
The past couple of weeks we have seen some skunk activity in the rough and along the edges of a few fairways. The skunks come out at night and dig up the turf to eat the grubs. They destroy the turf while they dig up this delicacy. I have been documenting the areas of their activity and will include them in the 2022 preventative application.
As I previously stated, we will focus on tree pruning this upcoming week. We will also address some edging issues with our sand traps and add sod to some of the problematic areas around the traps. Golf activity has slowed down but our “to do” list is quite lengthy.
Today I plan to go around to several of our green surrounds to take some core samples. After I evaluate the soil profiles the decision will be made as to how we reshape our mowing pattern on these greens. Some of the greens I will be looking at are 2, 8, 16, 17, and 18.
Please reach out to me if you have questions or would like more information on a topic. We will have some nice days in the near future, enjoying the sunshine and lovely fall weather.
Brian C Mohr
Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer
101 W 5th Street
Spencer Municipal Golf Course
Spencer, Iowa 51301