Upon completion of the Short Game practice area last October, we were faced with a decision to seed or sod the newly constructed area. We chose to seed which offered us the benefit of choosing newer water saving turfgrass varieties that are better adapted to our specific site. Seeding also produces better results once the 8-12 week establishment period is complete.
Now that spring is upon us and the "protective covers" have been removed, we are able to realize the benefit of last October's seeding. The result is that a high percentage of turf has germinated and we can begin the establishment process. Over the course of the next couple of months, frequent fertilizer inputs will utilized to accelerate the turfgrass growth. While we utilize products that are plant-available in cooler temperatures, the key to turfgrass establishment is longer days and consistently warm soil temperatures which typically happens by mid-May. Another key to turfgrass establishment is regular mowing. After the first mowing, the new turf will begin to spread laterally and rapidly fill in allowing us to lower the mower heights. It will take a couple of months to lower the mowing heights on the greens to our maintenance height of 1/8".
We will be installing bunker liners and sand in the bunkers by June 1. The new short game area is on target to open in July and we will provide progress updates during the establishment period.
- Steve Datwyler, Golf Course Superintendent
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