November, 2000

Finishing Touches to Overseeding

Overseeding is all done, and it is times to strengthen up the look of the course and bring
the turf to maximum performances before the six-week "winter slump."

Bare or Weak Turf Areas?

You may have areas that need to be overseeded again, either from poor seed-to-soil contact, or from poor irrigation. Now that it is colder, any re-seeding will take longer to emerge and establish.

You can pre-germinate any seed by placing the seed in a cloth bag. Submerge the bag in a clean 32-gallon plastic bucket of water. Change the water every four hours during the day, and then leave the bag submerged overnight. Do this for two full days. After 48 hours, dry out the seed on a clean garage floor (in the shade) for two - three hours. The seed will be fluffy and swollen. Either hand seed or use a spreader to drop the seed.

Cover the seed with a thin layer of composted steer manure (1/4"). This will generate heat and store moisture during the day. Don't forget to hand-irrigate these areas. For greens, mix two parts sand with one part manure.

Traffic and Compaction

Rotate cart path traffic as needed. Where possible, minimize uncontrolled cart traffic. The longer the overseed has time to "tiller", the better it will be for the December and January cold snap!

Greens exits can be greatly damaged from traffic at this time. Don't be afraid to hydro-ject these areas. If not, ¼ inch solid tines are a good substitute.

Find Mowing Heights on Greens

If you are not at your final mowing height, here are some tricks.

First, make sure you have enough shoot density on the greens to withstand a "new" lower mowing height. If the green is "weak" and does not have a high existing shoot density, lowering the heights will often result in a bumpy green. Feed the greens continuously with water soluble -N- (preferably something with Nitrate), along with P and K.

Drop the heights at 1/64 inch (0.015 thousands of an inch) increments. A typical schedule as follows should minimize any "shock" to the green.

1) At the existing height, double mow as regular on Day 1.

2) Then, mow on Day 1 again, at the "new" lower height.

3) Mow daily at the "new" height for five to ten days (longer in cold weather, shorter if warm weather).

4) Double mow at the same height the day you are to lower the height again.

5) Follow immediately with the ("second") reduced height.

6) Mow daily until the turf has stabilized.

7) If at any time the turf is shocked, return to the "previous" height, especially in cold weather.

Note: You can perform a trick by first rolling the greens after the double mow, than follow with the initial mow-height reduction event. You may not cut much grass (if any) on Day 1, but the grass will "grow"comfortably at the "new" reduced heights. This assists in the process of finalizing greens heights, especially as the weather cools.
Apply Iron and Potash all the way to Christmas time. Santa will be good to you if you do!

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