It’s hot out, really hot out! Not exactly a revelation or groundbreaking statement to say the least. We have had an extended stretch of hot/humid weather over the last few weeks, with a few breaks in the middle as well. While runs of this hot/humid weather are not unusual for us. After last summers cooler overall trend, this weather seems much hotter.
Below is the last 3 years weather data for June and July. With 3-4 more days expected to hit 90F (32C humidex included) this week. We will be on par with the weather we incurred during 2013.
|Year||Historical Monthly Average||Actual Rainfall||Days over 90F (32C) humidity included|
For those of you who remember 2013 presented some major issues for us with heat scald on some greens. The biggest difference is with rainfall. Unless we incur a major deluge of rain in the next 5 days we will be well below the historical average rainfall. So not only is it hot, but, it’s dry as well.
Within the parameters of our water taking permit we are applying close to 600,000 gallons of water/night. Our predominantly sandy soils need a lot of water and will need some rainfall to catch-up;
.The weepers for our septic system are even stressed;
While water is not a huge issue for us here. We do have a water permit, and do have to abide by the guidelines of the permit. So the thought that we can water as much as we want isn’t necessarily true. Also, the facts are that turf doesn’t lose a lot of water in hot/humid weather. We just need to water smarter right now.
Hand watering to cool the turf surface (not adding water, quite simply think of how good you feel for the half hour after you get out of a pool);
Wetting agent on greens to provide uniform soil moisture;
We also took some preventative measures with our putting surfaces to ensure they were not going to be exposed to the extreme heat. Our height of cut was raised from .120″ to .145″ two weeks ago. We spiked greens;
And deep tined greens with bayonets;
We also spoon fed the greens with fertilizer, and added a healthy dose of fungicide to protect the plant (yes even the environmental nutcase likes a little insurance). All this was done in the last two weeks to ensure our greens would withstand the heat and look good heading into August;
While some “green speed” was lost in this process. After next week’s solid tine aeration, we should be able to return cutting heights back to where they were and push the greens a little harder in the cooler (and much shorter) days of August. All of this in time to start raising them again in late September for winter preparation.
Stay cool in the heat and keep yourself hydrated.