Grow-in potential

These pictures were taken 28 days apart. Here's what the grasses looked like yesterday, on February 24. That was 4 weeks, exactly 28 days after planting.


On 27 January, five different grass varieties were planted from stolons. The grasses, shown from left to right, are:

  • manilagrass (nuwan noi)
  • tropical carpetgrass (yaa malay)
  • seashore paspalum (salam)
  • manilagrass (hosoba korai)
  • bermudagrass (Tifway 419)

For the first 10 days after planting, all the grasses were irrigated with 330 TDS (total dissolved solids, in units of ppm) water. For the next 18 days, the grasses shown above were irrigated with 4,500 TDS water.

The planting rates for the stolons ranged from 99 g/m2 for the nuwan noi to 312 g/m2 for the yaa malay. This is the mean mass for the stolons planted in the pots. We cut the stolons into 10 segments with 3 nodes each and then weighed them and planted them; each 0.02 m2 pot was planted with 30 nodes (1,500 nodes per square meter).

This is what the pots looked like immediately after planting, on January 27.


I think this is interesting for two reasons. One, this gives some indication of the grow-in rate (and relative rates) of various grass varieties. Second, this shows the tolerance or not of the grasses to different salt levels in the water.

One set of grasses is getting water with salt (TDS) at 330 ppm, the one pictured are getting 4,500 ppm, and another set are being irrigated with 9,000 ppm.

I'll be talking about this, and showing some of these grasses, at the upcoming Sustainable Turfgrass Management in Asia conference.

The Winter's Tale

There are more surprising photos from Doug Soldat this week. Where potassium fertilizer was applied, there is more snow mold. Where potassium was not applied, there is less snow mold.

This photo, starting in the top right plot with the lowest amount of snow mold, and going clockwise, is:

  • top right, no K for six years
  • bottom right, no K for six years but high K added from August to October 2016
  • bottom left, high K for six years
  • top left, high K for six years but no K after August 2016.

It's not so surprising, actually.

Doug has been observing these results for some years now. See, for example:

This will be fun to follow: 100 courses in 100 days

This will be interesting, and you might like to follow along too. Paul Jansen, the golf course architect, will be traveling to 100 golf courses in a span of 100 days. All the courses are in SE Asia, and he is starting in Bali on 19 March and ending in Bangkok on 28 June.

Bali's a great place to start. The last time I played golf in Bali I birdied the 6th, 7th, and 8th at Nirwana Bali, just missing a hole-in-one here at the famed 7th.



Paul's itinerary lists all the courses he will visit. He writes that he will "use the opportunity to highlight the richness and diverse nature of the golf experiences across the entirety of South East Asia." That will certainly be interesting, although I'm more looking forward to the serendipitous and surprising things that are sure to happen.

Perhaps visits to a few hidden gem courses that aren't on the written agenda? The food from so many different cuisines. I've had some great meals in the places he is going to visit. How's his stomach? No food poisoning, I hope. Traffic? Missed flights? Adjusted schedules. Mistranslations. Lost in the countryside and not speaking the language? No internet access? There are so many things that can happen on this adventure, and I'm looking forward to following along.

Paul has promised to take lots of pictures and to keep us updated. He will be sharing updates on a regular basis, maybe even daily. You can follow along at:

He's got quite a busy schedule during those 100 days, but I will try to catch up with him at one or two places along the way. I can't wait to hear what he has to say after actually doing this.


The Micah no jikan book ...

is now available for pre-order, and I see from the website that it can be shipped to any country. 


The full title is 芝草科学とグリーンキーピング (マイカの時間 The BOOK). In English that is Turfgrass Science and Greenkeeping (Micah no jikan The Book).

This book is the culmination of a long project, started in 2008, writing monthly articles about turfgrass science and greenkeeping for ゴルフ場セミナー. From those articles, I've selected some of my favorites, read and reread and arranged into chapters, and now we have this book. I hope these can be available in English sometime. It is some interesting material on a wide range of topics -- greenkeeping in general, soil water, organic matter management, fertilizer, golf course playability, and more.

Monthly Turfgrass Roundup: January 2017

January was another month with lots of material. From an extraordinary golf course in Nepal, to snowblowers on fairways, to sand and organic matter, there is plenty to see and read in this month's roundup.

Jon Wall went back to Nepal and shared these stunning photos of the Himalayan Golf Course.

The NC State Turf Diagnostics Lab shared a report of all samples submitted in 2016.

Should fertilizer costs be a secret?

Michael Wolpoff showed what happens to clipping volume when it rains.

The 2016 USGA Green Section Record Compendium.

Do you want to be on the ATC mailing list? Sign up here. As an example of what you'd get, this is the most recent ATC update.

Don't let micronutrients be a worry.

A sure way to prevent nutrient deficiences.

Eric Reasor wrote about his research trip to collect ball roll data in Thailand and Japan.

Brad Revill wrote more about how he makes use of the MLSN guidelines.

Hear more from Brad in this video where he talks with Nigel Taylor.

Does application of sand cause organic matter to increase?

Woodball looks like a fun game.

Jason Haines with fertilizer quantities applied since 1989.

Play golf in ice and snow, or close the course?

Jason Haines explains how he almost stopped using wetting agents on greens, and lost a case of beer in the process.

For more about turfgrass management, browse articles available for download on the ATC Turfgrass Information page, subscribe to this blog by e-mail or with an RSS reader - I use Feedly, or follow asianturfgrass on Twitter. Link and article roundups from previous months are here.

Playing golf in ice and snow

Steve Chappell shared these photos of snow and ice at Gleneagles, and I joked that it would be nice to play golf in such weather:

For example, see Jim Prusa's video of snow removal at SKY72 in Korea:

Then the questions came up, why remove the snow, was it worth it, and was any lasting damage done by that process? I asked Jim Prusa for the answers, and he was kind enough to explain why. Here's Jim:

Growing up in the golf course business in Northern Ohio I was exposed to all the mythological lore about how bad it was to allow any traffic on a golf course in winter. My father, a superintendent, ripped me when he caught me playing golf in the snow using orange golf balls in the early 1960s — he was worried that members would want to do the same. So, I was convinced at an early age that any traffic on a golf course in cold winter regions was going to damage a golf course. If you search old articles you’ll find many ‘horror stories” with scary photos of winter damage from winter traffic on golf courses. Then I experienced winters in Japan and Korea.

In both Japan and Korea I’ve managed scores of golf courses where clearing off the snow and playing golf was the norm — especially in Korea! What I have found is 100% contrary to the North America scary mythology about damaging the golf course. Frankly, I have never seen 1 spec of damage to golf course in Japan or Korea caused by winter play. None.

I’ve begun to think that the scare mongering of many superintendents about damaging a golf course simply from traffic in winter is an effort to not have to do much in winter!

No damage. None. Use common sense and avoid big, wide heavy snowblowers — it is why we are developing our own lightweight, ‘gang’ snow blower systems. On greens use covers. Clear the snow from covers and then you can pull the covers off during the day (like they do on baseball sports fields) and recover at night.

We run a business and that means we want customers and gain revenues that far offset the costs. PLAY GOLF!

He sent along these photos of cover removal.


And then happy golfers enjoying the course.


That's been my experience in Japan as well. I thought winter play would damage the turf. But any damage that happened was temporary, disappearing by early spring, and being more than offset by the revenue. One can lose a lot of money with frost delays when there are customers wanting to pay to play golf. For more about this, see:

Of course, this is not for everyone and everywhere. But neither are frost delays.

This is one more post the financial controllers might not want to see

When I received an e-mail from Tom Sedlmeier a couple months ago, I was reminded of this update on the Sports Turf Solutions Facebook page in 2012:

I just read a blog that puts every Turf Managers [sic] budget under scrutiny. Lets [sic] hope the financial controllers at each club dont [sic] read it.

This post is along the same lines, so financial controllers should probably stop reading right here. Although surprisingly in the note from Tom, he did mention that the savings he has made were "greatly appreciated by the management."

Here's Tom, with emphasis mine:

Hi Micah, We haven't had any contact yet, so I'd like to introduce myself a bit first. I’m the Superintendent here at Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort in Morocco, working for Troon ... I was starting a lot of research in the internet last April when I first read about MLSN. I was very fascinated about the approach and modified immediately my plans for this year. And what should I say… I had a great summer this year with less growth, less clippings, less mowing, less fertilizer, less diseases and a beautiful looking golf course in great condition ... So all in all I had savings of about $150k this year, what was greatly appreciated by the management ;-). So I’m convinced by MLSN and GP…

I love to hear about those kind of excellent results, and I'm glad Tom was able to achieve them and then share them. As I mentioned in the recent Campus del Césped webinar, the MLSN approach is designed first to ensure the grass is supplied with 100% of what the grass can use. And as an accidental result, one can end up applying less fertilizers if one actually works through the calculations to find out how much the grass really needs.

You can find out more about MLSN and GP (temperature-based growth potential) during seminars at the upcoming Golf Industry Show and at The Canadian Golf Course Management Conference. Or check out the MLSN Turf page, or this blog's fertilizer topic.

Heck, you might even share this with your financial controller.


Preventing nutrient deficiencies


The recording of my webinar on preventing nutrient deficiencies is now available in the videoteca section of the Campus del Césped website.

Or watch the English version right here.

This was fun. I hope you'll read the handout too. It is only 4 pages, with lots of white space, and gives a brief overview of this important topic. If you are still interested, then watch the video of the webinar at your leisure, and watch or download the slides too.

Links in English

Links in Spanish