Blog Post By: Craig McKinley, Golf Course Superintendent
This recent warm-stretch has really shown us that summer is upon us. It is awesome to see golf back at Bucks Run, and the Grounds Staff is working hard to give you the best possible playing conditions. Please know, we appreciate your understanding and care of the course during the large rain event we recently had, which flooded the Chippewa River.
Before I get into summer lawn care tips, I want to start today's blog with some introductions. I'd like to welcome our new Assistant Superintendent, Jon Cutler, to the Bucks Run Team. Jon has previously been the Assistant Superintendent at the Mount Pleasant Country Club, and the Golf Course Superintendent of The Pines Golf Course, in Lake Isabella. Jon is one semester away from receiving his Turfgrass Management Certificate from Penn State, and brings a great energy to our club.
I also want to spotlight another one of our employees, Mike Kenyon. Mike is entering his 8th season on staff and is our Crew Foreman. Mike’s hard work, dependability, and eye for detail has helped us keep this place conditioned the way guest are accustomed to.
Summer Lawn Care Tips
Adjust Your Height of Cut
Now, on to some summertime lawn tips. One trick for giving your lawn less stress during hot, dry stretches is to increase your lawn's height of cut. Grass with more leaf tissue can grow longer roots, because the plant's leaf tissue acts kind of like a solar panel, grabbing sunlight. The more area it has, the more photosynthesis can occur, giving the plant the energy to grow deeper roots. Even raising your height of cut by 0.5 inches can make a ton of difference during the hot summer months.
Watering your Lawn Properly
Keeping proper moisture in the soil during these months is also crucial. However, too much moisture can also be detrimental. Soil that is saturated not only leaves less space for oxygen, but it can also invite disease. It is also important to not leave excess moisture on the plant during hot and humid nights, like we experienced this past weekend. So, on those nights where the night time low is in the 70’s, it is best to water first thing in the morning, instead of overnight. Below, are a couple pictures of diseases that can develop from over-watering. The first image is Pythium Blight and the second is Brown Patch. I recommend researching these diseases if you would like to learn more.
Keep Mower Blades Sharp
Another way to help ensure your lawn makes it through the summer is to mow with sharp blades. If you take a look at the images below, you can see the substantial difference in grass mowed with sharp blades vs. dull blades.
Have your Lawn Mower Regularly Serviced
One other thing that people commonly forget is to service your lawn mower. Just like your vehicle, your mower needs to have its oil changed every season. Keeping it cleaned is a plus, too.
Don't Mow During the Hottest Part of the Day
When turf is stressed, heat tracks from your mower and even footprints can appear if turf is stressed. When the plant is nearing its wilting point or close to it, you will often see tracks for the following days in your lawn. During these times it is best to mow early in the morning, or late in the evening, when the temperatures are cooler.
I hope these tips will help you and your lawn get through the summer months looking great. As always, we look forward to seeing you out on the golf course, and please remember to fix your pitch marks and replace your divots.