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March 2010

February 2010

Asian Turfgrass Field Day, March 9

Bermuda_off-typeI visited Phoenix Country Club, Siam Country Club, and Laem Chabang Country Club yesterday to inspect the sites and trials for the March 9 turfgrass field day. Here is what you can expect at the field day.

On the morning of March 9, we will travel by air-conditioned coach from the Amari Orchid Resort and Tower to the nearby Phoenix Country Club. At Phoenix, we will look at off-type bermudagrasses on the putting green, including a collection of off-types from other golf courses at Thailand. Darren Moore did his M.Sc. thesis on the phenomenon of off-type bermudagrasses, and he will discuss this with the field day attendees. I will be stationed at one of the zoysiagrass fairways, discussing this grass and its management and how it compares with bermudagrass and seashore paspalum. Matt Roche will be at another putting green with off-type bermudagrass, and he will be discussing how to choose the type of putting green grass that will be right for your facility, and how different grasses (such as the off-types on display) are evaluated at a research station.

Phoenix-zoysia-fwy 

Our next stop will be the Plantation Course at Siam Country Club where we will discuss preparations of putting greens for tournament play (an apt site for this -- Siam CC hosted the Honda LPGA Thailand tournament last weekend!) and management of new ultradwarf bermudagrass cultivars. Siam CC has seashore paspalum fairways, and I will be talking about the management of these fairways.The Plantation Course has one of the most interesting greens you will ever see (pictured below). This is a nearly 2000 m2 TRIPLE green of Novotek bermudagrass, comprising the 4th and 9th from the Pineapple nine and the 7th from the Tapioca nine. It takes two hours to mow with a Toro Flex 21 pedestrian mower. I wonder how many sprinkler heads are required to provide irrigation to this green?

Triple-green-siam-cc

We will have lunch at Siam CC and then transfer to Laem Chabang CC. At Laem Chabang we will see some plots of wetting agent trials, fungicide trials, herbicide and surfactant trials, and phytotoxicity trials showing the effects of certain DMI fungicides, fertilizers, and Primo Maxx on Tifdwarf putting greens.

Nutsedge The field day will conclude with a round at the chipping course near the clubhouse and a dinner at the Club. Wear comfortable attire for the field day -- golfing attire or similar would be appropriate. The locker room facilities at Laem Chabang CC will be available if you would like to take a shower before dinner.


Bermudagrass White Leaf

Bermudagrass-white-leaf

I recently wrote about bermudagrass white leaf, a mollicute disease seen in Asia on bermudagrass, at the Turf Diseases blog. See the bermudagrass white leaf post here. If you have this problem on your grass, it will probably go away in time as healthy plants grow over the dying chlorotic plants. For more information about ATC's investigations of bermudagrass white leaf, download the Field Day Book from 2008 at the Turf Information page of the ATC website.


Relieving Turfgrass Stress: Part 2, Air in the Soil

Aerify-habu-cc In a previous post I wrote about relieving turfgrass stress by ensuring that grass blades are cut cleanly. After ensuring that mowers are sharp and are mowing the grass at the optimum height, what is another way to relieve turfgrass stress?

Turfgrass stress can be reduced by ensuring there is enough air in the soil. Golfers don't like aerification and greenkeepers are often under pressure to skip aerification because on the surface the greens appear to be fine. But when there is not enough air in the soil, roots do not grow, and grass without roots does not provide a good playing surface for very long.

black layer in turfgrass soil profile

The black layer in the soil above is because of waterlogged conditions. Roots are not growing in the saturated soil, but can you see the old aerification hole in the center of the photo? Do you see that vertical strip through the soil profile with no black layer? Do you see the white roots growing in this aerification hole? When there is enough air in the soil (and I would suggest that about 25% air by volume is a good starting point), the roots can grow. The reason for hollow tine core aerification is to physically remove organic matter from the soil while allowing more air into the soil, and the reason for solid tine aerification is to introduce air into the soil. Organic matter in the soil creates small pores that hold a lot of water. Healthy turfgrass creates large amounts of organic matter, and this organic matter must be managed in order to maintain adequate air in the soil. For a look at some more photos of roots and aerification practices, click here.

The solution to the black layer problem or to the problem of too much organic matter in the soil is really a simple one: make more air in the soil. This is done by keeping the soil as dry as possible, by physically removing organic matter, by regularly topdressing with sand to maintain aeration porosity, and by venting or other types of solid tine aerification, as shown below.

So the next time you suspect your turfgrass may be suffering from too much stress, think of ways that more air can be introduced into the soil. More air in the soil is a sure way to reduce stress and improve turfgrass conditions.


ATC's Turf Science Seminars, March 15 & April 15 (ターフサイエンス セミナー2010)

Asian Turfgrass Center's turfgrass science seminar at Shinjuku on January 18 was a sellout, with all 100 spaces sold. The upcoming seminar on March 15 will deal with soil science, and the seminar on April 15 will focus on managing the plant to create the desired playing surface. These seminars are approved for GCSAA education points. Download the registration form here or click here for more information and a photo gallery of images from the January 18 seminar.

ターフサイエンス セミナー