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"I've waited far too long to voice my opinions concerning this extraordinary profession of greenkeeping"

How's that for a start? "The Walking Greenkeeper" introduced himself this morning. I expect this will be a fun blog to read.

Selection_010Now for an assortment of things that came to mind today, all of which are in some way related to Joe's blog post.

He wrote about some of his research this winter. Among other things, he mentioned me, MLSN, Jason Haines, and Chris Tritabaugh. "These fellas," he wrote, "and what I consider to be their alternative style to greenkeeping have inspired me ..." -- that's awesome.

So what came to mind? First, the #MLSN approach is about something very specific -- making fertilizer recommendations from soil tests to prevent nutrient deficiencies by ensuring the grass is supplied with enough of each element. However, the approach we have taken with MLSN has attracted interest from turf managers around the world who are interested in minimizing other inputs as well. And it is a lot of interest. I've been surprised that the MLSN newsletter mailing list, started just 6 weeks ago, already has more than 300 subscribers, from more than 30 countries.

If you are interested in the MLSN approach, you can subscribe to the newsletter here.

If you want more than just MLSN, you can sign up to the ATC newsletter here.

Here's an interesting question. Just what is the MLSN approach? Nadeem Zreikat wrote that he prefers efficient to minimalist:

Here's how I'd describe it. Lots of people are interested in MLSN and in the idea of managing things as efficiently as possible. I'd describe what I try to do, and with MLSN as a part of that, in this way:

For turf management at any site, the first thing to do is to define the conditions that one is trying to produce. Then, produce those conditions with the fewest possible inputs.

One could describe that as efficiency, or as minimalistic. I think both words, and many other words too, can fit the MLSN approach.

I wrote more about that in the Short Grammar of Greenkeeping. To produce the desired conditions, the turf manager manipulates the growth rate. In the Short Grammar, I wrote that greenkeeping can then be defined as modifying the growth rate to get the desired surface conditions. And the grammar provides a framework for adjusting the inputs to produce the desired conditions.

If that all sounds really vague, you'll want to read a great description of that approach in practice. I recommend Jason Haines' Turfhacker summary of everything that's interesting to me as a description of how these principles can be applied.

The whole idea is to produce the conditions we want, doing so with the minimum amount of work. Maybe that's efficiency, or minimalism, or sustainability, or something else. But that's where I'm coming from, that's the type of definition that the MLSN approach fits into, and this is for any type of turf.

I made a huge omission in last month's roundup. I forgot to include the 2016 Ryder Cup: Hazeltine National Turfgrass Team video featuring Chris Tritabaugh.

2016 Ryder Cup: Hazeltine National Golf Club, The Turfgrass Team from Chris Tritabaugh on Vimeo.

This is part of the approach too, and the video shows it. Be passionate about the work. Produce the conditions one is trying to produce. Do so with a minimum of inputs. Or as efficiently as possible. Have fun doing it. Find ways to do it better.

I expect everyone in this business is doing that in some way. It seems to me that the MLSN and Short Grammar approaches have provided a framework from which we can all work on and compare ways to do it better.


Preventing nutrient deficiencies

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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


Another interesting technique to modify fairway conditions

I've seen introduction of seashore paspalum to bermudagrass, and manilagrass to bermudagrass, by hand planting the introduced species into slices cut into the exisiting turf. This post shows seashore paspalum planted into a bermudagrass fairway using that technique.

I've also seen resodding to convert to a different grass, but in a way that doesn't require course closure.

At PGA Catalunya, hybrid bermudagrass was introduced into the creeping bentgrass fairways. These photos show the fairways in 2016, five years after the bermudagrass was added.

Fwy1

The idea was to improve fairway conditions in summer with the bermudagrass, due to the poor irrigation water quality. I've been impressed with the fairway conditions at PGA Catalunya, and also with the technique used to introduce the bermuagrass. These videos of the technique are shared on course superintendent David Bataller's YouTube page.

Fwy

What technique was used at PGA Catalunya?

First, simulated divots were made in the bentgrass fairways using an aerifier fitted with custom "tines".

Second, a rotovator or landscape tiller was used to make a divot mix from certified Tifway 419 sod and sand.

Third, the divots in the bentgrass fairways were filled with the bermudagrass divot mix.

The result is improved fairway performance during the summer, due to the presence of bermudagrass. And with this technique, the improvement was accomplished rapidly, without closing the course, and used a relatively small amount of purchased sod.

Fwy2


Burning grass

2015年度の「芝焼き」

今年の「芝焼き」は青空で風も少しあったので、とても良い芝焼き日和でした。様々な節分の行事が岡山県内であったようですが、約900人の方がご来園でした。昨日の雨で土が湿っていたので、蒸気が上がりやすかったようです。

Posted by 岡山後楽園 on Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Korakuen in Okayama is one the three great gardens of Japan, and I like it especially because of its expansive noshiba (Zoysia japonica) lawns. In early February every year, a shiba yaki (grass burning) ceremony is held at Korakuen, when the lawns are burned.

The video above shows the ignition of a lawn. The Facebook page of Korakuen has more photos of the shiba yaki ceremony this year.

今日は「立春」、昨日の芝焼きを終えて春を迎える準備がととのってきた岡山後楽園です。これから焼けた芝を掃きます。真っ黒な芝をみるのは、また来年です。

Posted by 岡山後楽園 on Wednesday, February 3, 2016

It is pretty amazing how strange it looks before the lawns start to grow again.

【後楽園広報スタッフ奮闘記】2月2日~4日、御南中学2年生が後楽園で職場体験でした。みんなの感想を、3人が選んだ写真とともに掲載します。~御南中学職場体験~<Wさん>実は私は鳥が苦手で、近くに行くのも嫌でしたが、ここに来てとて...

Posted by 岡山後楽園 on Wednesday, February 3, 2016

For more about grass burning in Japan, see:



"One aspect of golf that we never promote is the health aspect"

When I watched the Golf Club Atlas interviews with Don Mahaffey last year, I was struck by the comments Don made about the health benefits of golf. Watch them here, starting at the 14:50 mark:

Don mentions things that are known to be good for health -- walking, spending time with other people, spending time in nature, solving puzzles.

That, he says, describes playing 9 holes of golf, but "no one is talking about that sort of thing, about the health benefits of golf ... I've never heard it packaged like that, anywhere, and I think there's opportunity there to change the image of pesticide, chemical, too much water and all of these things that we get branded with. And we talk about sustainability and we're using too much water and all of these things, but golf is good for you."

He's right, and after hearing his comments, I've been more attentive to articles on this subject. Here's a list I've enjoyed reading:


Can you imagine?

At Real Club de Golf El Prat, host of this week's Spanish Open, 3,600 trees fell in a violent windstorm on 9 December. The club has shared this video that shows the scale of the damage, and the impressive work that was done in the aftermath of the storm.

RCGEP Viento diciembre from Real Club de Golf El Prat on Vimeo.

That the playing surfaces are in such fine condition this week, after having to deal with the storm damage and all the disruption that caused, shows the skill and effort of the greenkeeping staff at the club.

Ten
View from the 10th tee

Tee
At the 1st tee, 6 months after the storm that felled 3,600 trees

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Creeping bentgrass on the 1st fairway at Real Club de Golf El Prat


MLSN webinar on TurfNet

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The recorded webinar MLSN Guidelines: what they are, and how to use them is now available for viewing in the TurfNet webinar archives.

Direct link to watch the MLSN Guidelines webinar.

There were some questions about how to convert the results from other testing methods to an equivalent value by the Mehlich 3 extraction method. I am going to prepare an explanatory document about this topic, but for now, please see this link:

Conversion equations from the Cornell Nutrient Management Spear program

Here are direct links to other websites I mentioned in the webinar:


"Grow really great turfgrass without dealing with this kind of craziness"

Selection_083Bill Kreuser gave a webinar about soil tests for TurfNet, putting a lot of clear information into this one hour discussion, and closed it out by explaining how he would go about making use of soil tests.

If you are interested in this topic, and would like to know more about soil tests and how the data are generated and the results can be interpreted, you'll really enjoy this webinar. Bill has plenty to say about the right way and the wrong way to do this. Some test results are nonsense. As Bill put it, "you can grow really great turfgrass without dealing with this kind of craziness."

More TurfNet archived webinars here.