your investment at work
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE OHIO TURFGRASS FOUNDATION | 2016 | ISSUE 2
inside this edition
Bob Becker, golf course superintendent at Scioto Country Club prepares the historic course for the U.S. Senior Open.
Presidents Message pg. 4
From the Desk
of the Director pg. 5
2015 Impact Report pg. 8
A Major Task pg.18
A Learning Experience:
Teaching at Hawks Nest pg.24
Identification &Management pg.28
Tanner Turner pg.35
When Seeding &
Stay Ahead of the Issue:
Preventative Maintenance pg.42
Green Velvet Sod Farms
Toledo Country Club
Imm. Past President
DR. JOHN STREET
Director of Education
The Ohio State University
Fry Straka Global Golf Course Design
OHIO TURFGRASS FOUNDATION
Your Lawn, Inc.
Thanks to our partners for their support!
Annual support to the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation Research and Education Facility keeps our research close to home.
The Foundation has been able to award over $500,000 to students pursuing careers in the green industry.
When you are trying to figure out if a company will have a successful future, the first thing you look at are the financials. The same thing is true with OTF. Our main income generator over the years has always been the OTF Conference and Show.
We have made several changes to the format over the last few years to make the experience more enjoyable and productive for everyone. The OTF Conference and show is still a key component to our financial success. Thanks to all of you that support it.
Membership dues are also a key component to our financial success. Dues are second only to the conference and show as OTF’s biggest income generator. Luckily we have a solid core group of members that make everything we do possible.
So what do we do with the dues and income from our events? The bulk of our funds go into operations, just like at your facility. This would include contracted labor, rental fees and event expenses. Although this isn’t the most glamorous part, it is a necessity to provide the services you expect. Without taking on these expenses you wouldn’t be able to get the quality education opportunities that are available.
Here are a few examples of where the money goes:
The Ohio Turfgrass Foundation Conference and Show provides the best educational opportunity around.
Annual support to the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation Research and Education Facility keeps our research close to home.
Turfgrass Research Field Day gives attendees a sneak peek at what research is currently underway.
Weekly Clippings and Turf Tip videos that provide relevant information when you need it.
Growing Degree Day link on our website to help with timely herbicide and insecticide applications.
New improved newsletter packed with relevant information that is now produced in-house
OPARR support to keep an eye on new legislation that may affect our industry.
Scholarship opportunities for students looking to pursue a career in the turfgrass industry.
Regional networking events throughout the state.
This list is far from all-inclusive but it gives you an idea how important your dues are to the success of the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation. Thank you for your support and make sure you take time to take advantage of all these opportunities that are available to you as a member of OTF.
THE ROOT OF WHAT WE DO
I've likely written about the topic before...probably often, in fact. It's the "WHY."
Why does OTF exist?
Why would someone be an OTF member?
Why would someone attend an OTF event?
You get the picture.
A few years ago, OTF leadership was forced to focus on the, "HOW." How were we going to overcome the challenges that our organization faced? Primarily, we had to focus on how we would continue to provide for the industry. Our operating funds were limited...and limited is being generous!
Fortunately, as an organization, we were able to navigate these rough waters. We got through these times by simplifying our approach, both in expense and in our focus. We continued to focus on the WHY.
In the following pages, you'll learn more about the impact OTF made in 2015 and which we're building upon this year and for the future.
Wether it's OTF's investiment in the Ohio State turfgrass program, educational offerings or advocacy on behalf of the industry, it's clear to see and quantify the importance of a healthy Ohio Turfgrass Foundation.
The health of our organizations starts with you. The more support from members, partners and even outside agencies, the more we're able to do on your behalf.
Throughout these pages, I hope you're able to better understand the WHY.
For me it's easy. While you may see this as a turfgrass industry, I see it as a people industry. We are here to provide people with the resources they need to be successful.
Hopefully, we're meeting this goal.
As always, please let us know how we can better meet your expectations as a member of the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation.
All the best,
Brian J Laurent
Brian J Laurent
OTF Executive Director
FROM THE DESK OF THE DIRECTOR
THE FLOW OF SUPPORT
INDIVIDUALS AND COMPANIES
PROMOTION & ADVOCACY
The OTF Research & Education Facility at Ohio State features more than 20 acres of turf plots where research trials are being conducted.
How your investment in OTF has furthered the OTF mission and the turfgrass industry.
CAREERS IN TURF
Field Construction & Renovation
Design & Build
Irrigation & Drainage
PROMOTION & ADVOCACY
OTF'S CORE AREAS OF FOCUS
Providing our members with continuing education, research updates, extension and networking opportunities to develop as turfgrass managers.
In 2015: 185 hours of education; 31,000 minutes of OTF content viewed online & more!
health & well-being
promotion & advocacy
Leading the way to inform the general public and policy makers of the benefits of turf, promoting careers in the industry and shaping a new perception of turfgrass professionals.
In 2015: More than 3,000 impressions from the public on the benefits of turf, 30 participants in the HS Turf Bowl and ~ $20,000 in scholarships.
Assisting individuals with quality of life and opportunities for personal development.
In 2015: Nearly $5,000 in benovelant giving, five assistant scholarships to OTF programming, regular business and personal advancement resources and career advancement resources.
a major task
OTF Member and OSU Turf Alum, Bob Becker strives to preserve a 100 year old icon in the golf industry while preparing for a USGA major.
Overlooking the 8th green, which has seen its fair share of changes over time.
Written by Will Haskett
One of Ohio’s great golfing treasures turns 100 years old this year. Scioto Country Club will celebrate its Centennial on July 2nd. A month later, the celebration will be nationwide, with the U.S. Senior Open heading to Columbus, Ohio. It will be the sixth major golf event held at Scioto, and the first in 30 years.
For Superintendent Bob Becker, the daunting summer of 2016 has a number of challenges, but like any normal day of work, his concern is centered on one place.
“The biggest pressure on me is our member’s expectation of the course,” Becker says. “Right after the Open, they want the course back fast. I’m blessed and very excited about the championship, but those are the people who pay my salary.”
Becker’s perspective is undaunted, even in the face of, arguably, the most important year of the club’s legendary history. Entering his 17th year on the grounds crew and fourth as the head superintendent, Becker never expected to be a lifer, but family and opportunity has changed that young outlook. An even healthier appreciation for the course didn’t hurt either.
“You are a part of something bigger than yourself and there is a great responsibility here,” he says of Scioto, but adds, “You don’t want to put lipstick on the Mona Lisa. Every decision you make, you have to be careful.”
That includes the incredible balancing act of getting Scioto ready for the world’s best golfing quinquagenarians. Due to the quirks of an Olympic year that includes golf for the first time since 1904, the U.S. Senior Open was pushed to August. The weather pattern is not favorable compared to the traditional date in late June.
With that, Becker and his team are walking a tightrope of reducing rounds, guests and cart traffic in the weeks leading up to the tournament. He admits that the week of the event may be the easiest, largely because of the groundwork already done.
“We had a rather aggressive aerification schedule in August, September and in early March. We want to get ahead of it and get our numbers right to try and work on texture and maintenance leading up.”
In addition to its second U.S. Senior Open, Scioto Country Club is one of just four courses to host a U.S. Open, U.S. Amateur, PGA Championship and Ryder Cup. All four have one iconic man in common: architect Donald Ross.
While much of Ross’ signature design was lost during a redesign in 1960, work has been ongoing to return much of Scioto’s old charm.
“We’ve been in some form of construction since 2004,” Becker describes, noting the greens being rebuilt in 2007, irrigation repair, reconstruction of tees, bunkers and more. “With every project we’ve done, we have tried to get more of [Ross’] features back. I do believe in the next few years, we will probably get that Ross character back.”
In order to connect with that history, Becker has the benefit of a unique and legendary consultant. Jack Nicklaus grew up playing Scioto, and many of his childhood friends are still members. His razor-sharp memory has been a valuable tool in Becker’s work.
“He is a big part of our history,” Becker adds. “The best thing for us is that when he is here, we get to hear all of the stories. He has some good concepts with what he does. He sees things differently. He links us with our past.”
That includes the eighth hole, which developed a giant moat through the years. Jack’s message to Becker and crew was simple: ‘get rid of it.’
“Everybody who worked on that hole [through the years] left me some sort of time capsule. There were 12 inch poured concrete walls with 42 inch concrete footers from the 1997 renovation, old steel walls from a previous creek lining buried behind the poured concrete, different layers of topsoil and clay.”
Eventually, through a harsh winter and water main breaks, the moat was re-layered, with fresh sod on top. Becker credits his crew for fighting through a difficult project that was a nightmare. The result? Scioto’s 8th would make Ross proud. Now the question turns to how the world will perceive Becker’s work. One hundred years after its opening, Scioto will get the attention it deserves this summer with the U.S. Senior Open. There will be discussions about Ross, stories about Jack and a worthy champion. Becker simply wants his course to be consistent. “The toughest part of the tournament is that when the lights go off and everybody leaves, you have to clean it up,” he says. “There will be a big push to get everybody motivated and back to work.”
No motivation necessary for Becker. He wants his course ready for the next day.
“We have guests who come and you see them take the camera out. This is their one time to play Scioto. I certainly don’t want them leaving here and not fulfilling that expectation.”
Bonus digital content featured on the next page!
Bonus digital content!
Press play above to view the bonus content from Scioto Country Club. To view in HD, click the gear on the bottom right.
Students in Dr. Raudenbush's two year program at Ohio State Wooster, get hands-on experience.
It’s hard to believe my first semester of teaching at Ohio State ATI is over. Before I arrived in January, I sought advice from mentors and peers about how to be successful in a predominately teaching position at a major university. They all provided valuable feedback, but my doctoral advisor, Dr. Steve Keeley, said “your first semester of teaching will be like drinking from a fire hose” and this simple analogy couldn’t be closer to the truth!
There were a lot of long hours spent preparing lectures, assignments, hands-on laboratories, and advising our students; however, these past several months have been the most rewarding times of my professional career. This article is meant to share some of the highlights from my first semester at ATI.
Hawks Nest Golf Course: The possibility of teaching classes in the basement of the clubhouse at Hawks Nest was an intriguing part of this position. From my previous teaching experiences, I’ve noticed that students are often proficient at describing important processes on exams, but can sometimes have difficulty applying these skills in the real-world situations.
For instance, accurate spreader calibration is a “must-have” skill for a turfgrass manager. Students can often write out the steps, in detail, for calibrating a spreader, but may have
Continued from page 23
difficulty knowing where to begin if you gave them a spreader, bag of 18-25-12, weighing scale, tape measure, and asked them to deliver 0.5 lbs N/1000 ft2 using a wheel-to-wheel application method.
Honestly, I was probably in the same boat as an undergraduate; it wasn’t until my first full-time position that I mastered some of these basic skills. Fortunately, the unique setup at ATI allows us to describe these processes in a traditional classroom setting, and immediately provide an opportunity for the students to apply this knowledge on the grounds at Hawks Nest. I witnessed the benefits of this unique setup throughout the semester as our students became more comfortable executing many of these “must-have” skills.
Turfgrass Research Plots: During a visit last November, I spent some time with Hawks Nest superintendent Mark Smith and asked about the possibility of building a research putting green at the course. Mark and I tossed around some ideas and eventually arrived at a 20,000 ft2 area close to his maintenance shop.
While I felt this green was going to be a valuable research tool, I was most excited about the unique learning opportunity it would create for our students considering how many different pieces of equipment are required to build a USGA putting green. We began prepping the site in March and I was quickly reminder of why construction projects are difficult to undertake in the springtime. Rain continually prevented our D5 bulldozer from shaping the site to the desired 1% grade, but we eventually caught a stretch of good weather in April and moved the project forward.
Special thanks to all of those involved, including Arms Trucking and Wolf Creek Company for their contributions.
Hard Working Students: Overall, one of the most rewarding parts of my first semester at ATI has been getting to know many of our students. They are a hard-working group of individuals that have consistently exceeded my expectations.
It has been fun to watch them take ownership of their classroom space by building workbenches, shelves, and tool racks throughout the semester. Additionally, many have volunteered hours of their time to help with the research green – thank goodness for that!
New Relationships: I have met so many great people in my first few months at Ohio State ATI. The Ohio turfgrass industry is filled with a lot of hardworking and talented individuals who have been willing to help out our program whenever possible.
Additionally, my University colleagues are top-notch and have provided valuable insight about how to successfully manage my time. Lastly, I will be traveling around the state this summer visiting our students on summer internships, which will be a great opportunity to visit with many of you along the way.
By Dr. Zane Raudenbush
Coordinator Turfgrass Management
BOTH STUDENTS AND TEACHER LEARN VALUABLE LESSONS DURING DR. RAUDENBUSH'S FIRST SEMESTER
A LEARNING EXPERIENCE
Dr. Raudenbush (right) with student, Robert Ruman, as Ruman receives recognition for making the prestigious Director's List.
Identification and Management
Close up of the red thread fungus growing out of the end of a perennial ryegrass leaf.
J. W. Rimelspach T. E. Hicks and Francesca Peduto-Hand Department of Plant pathology The Ohio State University – Columbus, Ohio
Remember the majority of lawn problems are not caused by diseases but are the result of two key factors.
#1. From adverse weather conditions that are not conducive for growing cool-season grasses in the summer.
#2. From injury / damage to the turf plants form maintenance procedure that were not properly executed.
This article will focus on and review several of the more common infectious diseases that can occur in lawns in Ohio and the Midwest. These are caused by fungi. Remember if a fungicide treatment is used to manage a turfgrass disease successfully - an effective product needs to be selected and then - applied as a preventative application.
Often there are questions if the fungus that causes lawn diseases is moved from lawn to lawn on mowers, equipment, on shoes or boots, etc.? The answer is NO, not to any significant degree, the environment and normal life cycles of these diseases are the key factors for survival and spread of the pathogens. Keep in mind that the different grasses that make up a lawn will vary in their susceptibility to different diseases.
Diagnostic Information - Cool, mild temperatures, humid, overcast periods typical to Ohio’s wet spring and autumn provide the best environment for disease development. Prolonged leaf wetness and slow turfgrass growth also contribute to disease development and severety. Red thread is most severe under low Nitrogen and / or low Phosphorous levels. In Ohio, Red thread has been recorded as being active in every month of the year but in most years spring and early summer or the fall is when the disease is most active.
Management and Control Strategy –
- In general, any practice that encourages optimal growth of turf should be employed such as maintenance of a balanced fertility program, good drainage, good light, etc. Increased N and P fertility has been correlated to decreased red thread susceptibility. - Varieties with different levels of red thread susceptibility are listed at the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program web site: www.ntep.org
- Manage water properly to prevent drought stress and avoid prolonged leaf wetness
- There are many good fungicides that can be used as preventative treatments. Refer to the information sheet on our web site “Fungicides for Residential Turf” for specific products and follow label recommendations. turfdisease.osu.edu/
Diagnostic Information - The first symptoms of the disease appear as tiny yellow spots on individual grass blades. The spot expands to a straw colored or tan band with dark reddish-brown margins. The tip of the affected leaf often remains green. The tan band, or lesion, is often narrower in width than the leaf, resulting in the lesion taking on an "hourglass" shape. The entire blade soon becomes bleached. As the grass dies and the infected areas enlarge, light straw-colored spots 2 to 3 inches in diameter appear in the lawn. A fine, cobwebby white mold may be visible early in the morning when heavy dew is present. This mycelia growth of the fungus will disappear as the turf dries. The turf in these spots may be killed all the way from the lesion to where the plant comes into contact with the soil. If left unchecked, the spots may merge and form large, irregular straw-colored patches. On low cut turf, such as that on golf greens and fairways, the spots are often well defined and smaller than those on high cut residential or commercial turf and as the name implies are about the size of a silver dollar. Thus, the descriptive term "dollar spot.'
Management and Control Strategy –
- Adequate fertilizer program. Proper nitrogen fertility will greatly reduce the occurrence and severity of dollar spot. Refer to Home Yard and Garden fact sheet 4006, "Fertilization of Lawns." Note: Careful consideration must be given to fertility programs to avoid excessive nitrogen fertility which aggravates other diseases such as Brown Patch. - Avoid periods of prolonged leaf wetness. Avoid over watering and frequent late afternoon or evening irrigation that prolongs the time grass stays wet. This is especially true for mornings when heavy dew is likely. Prune trees and shrubs to facilitate optimal penetration of sunlight and remove barriers or wind blocks to promote optimal air movement so grass dries faster. - Irrigate turf during dry conditions. Provide adequate soil moisture for continuous and optimal turf growth. - Select resistant cultivars. Before seeding, consider recommended cultivars that are resistant to dollar spot. This is especially helpful when planting Kentucky bluegrass, check with the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program. - Chemical control used early in disease development can be quite successful. Once dollar spot gains a foothold and is widespread, chemical management will be difficult. For specific fungicides refer to the OSU Turfgrass Pathology Program web site: turfdisease.osu.edu Read the label and follow all instructions.
Diagnostic Information –
There are many challenges to acutely diagnosis Brown Patch /Rhizoctonia Blight caused by (Rhizoctonia solani) in lawns. Since all common turfgrasses can get the disease it is difficult to rule out the disease on the bases of the type of grass in the lawn. However, many tall fescue lawns are prime candidates to be the first to develop brown patch when weather is favorable for the disease. There are differences in susceptibility by the different cultivars of tall fescue. Check the web site of the national Turfgrass Evaluation Program for rating tall fescue cultivars and susceptibility to brown patch at – www.ntep.org A key factor that needs to be present for active Brown Patch/Rhizoctonia Blight is wet conditions (heavy rainfall, over irrigation, wet & humid sites, poorly drained areas, long periods of wet foliage/thatch and soils). If there are “brown patches” in a lawn and the turf and site are dry continue the diagnostic process since Brown Patch/Rhizoctonia Blight is most likely NOT the problem. A lush stand of turf is also a high candidate for the disease, especially if the lawn is wet and the temperatures are right. If there are questions about the specific diagnosis of this disease, submit a sample to a turf diagnostic lab for verification. In the lab a trained diagnostician can easily look for the fungus and usually confirm the problem.
Management and Control Strategy –
- Wet leaf blades greatly increases infection and disease. If the lawn needs moisture, water deep and infrequent, early in the day, so the grass leaves will dry quickly. Do not water in the late afternoon or early evening. Night watering is not recommended in hot, humid weather. Avoid frequent light sprinklings. - Avoid nitrogen applications that cause a flush of succulent growth since it is very susceptible to brown patch. Avoid nitrogen fertilizer applications before or during hot weather whenever possible. Several lighter fertilizer applications are less likely to trigger disease than one heavy application. - Turfgrass cultivars that are more resistant to brown patch may be available. A source of information on turfgrass assessment for disease is the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program in Beltsville, MD or check the web site at http://www.ntep.org or contact the state land grant University for State Recommendations.
- Fungicide Management: When a lawn has had previous brown patch problems, fungicides may be applied when humid weather and hot nights are predicted. Applications should continue according to the fungicide label for as long as the hot, humid weather persists. For specific fungicides refer to the OSU Turfgrass Pathology Program web site: http://turfdisease.osu.edu Look under publications for - Management of Turfgrass Diseases Bulletin (L-187 Disease Section). Read the label and follow all instructions.
Diagnostic Information –
Summer patch, is a crown and root infecting disease caused by the fungus (Magnaporthe poae). Since there is damage to the roots, the root system cannot function properly to take up water, so under heat and drought conditions symptoms of wilt, decline and death develop. Symptoms - include brown more or less circular patches. The fungus attacks the below ground parts of the grass plants (roots, crowns, stolons, and rhizomes). In the summer it is difficult to distinguish between summer patch and necrotic ring spot on a Kentucky bluegrass lawn since the overall symptom patters are very similar. The key to managing the diseases is growing healthy stress free turfgrass.
Turfgrass affected- most common in Kentucky bluegrass and fine fescue. Diagnostic features - Dead “circular” patches usually ½ - 2 feet in diameter (circles or crescents) the affected circle is often sunken. Dead rings with green grass in the middle are referred to as frogeye patches. Over time different type of grass(s) may develop in the center of the patch. These are resistant to the diseases. The roots, stems and crown area are often dark brown on the affected plants due the presents of the pathogen fungus growing on these parts of the plants.
Management and Control Strategy –
There are three main approaches - maintenance of healthy turf / culture, - grass resistance to the disease and - chemical applications.
- Reduce compaction (a good way to relieve compaction is through the use of a core removal machine, which removes a small plug of turf and soil. This procedure should be done several times a year and it is recommended to pull a minimal of 20 cores per square foot. The goal is to dramatically improve the root growth and health of the Turfgrass. . - Raise mowing height if possible (≥ 2.5 inches). - Water frequently to avoid ANY MOISTURE stress. Since the root system is not functioning properly soil moisture levels need to be carefully managed. Avoid wilt! Also do not over water and create a water logged root zone since this will cause a further decline of an already weak root system.
- Properly prepare site for sod, address compaction and poor quality soils. The goal is to have a similar soil as the sod was originally grown on. - Maintain the Turfgrass with a very slow release fertilizer. Do not allow the lawn to be “hungry” again remember the roots are not functioning well so continues slow realer feeding in needed to maintain growth and health.
- Overseed with a resistant cultivar of Kentucky bluegrass check the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP) trials for resistant cultivars at http://hort.unl.edu/ntep/ - The use of genetic resistance turfgrasses is limited to new seeding, renovation, and overseeding. - Perennial ryegrass and turf type tall fescues do not have this problem but because they have different colors and textures it is often hard to blend these with a Kentucky bluegrass lawn.
This is a disease that is very difficult to manage. Fungicide applications alone will usually not control the disease. Applications should be made in the spring when the pathogen is infecting the plants and long before symptoms develop. A general rule of thumb is to make the first application of a fungicide when the soil temperature is 65°F at 3 inches for several days in a row. Once grass turns brown in the summer fungicide applications do little to improve the lawn. Total turfgrass health management is recommended through the use of aggressive management strategies.
Circular symptom pattern of “patch” disease in a lawn. However affected turf be in spots and streaks.
Summer patch in a Kentucky bluegrass sodded lawn. Often the most severe damage occurs in areas subjected to the most heat and drought stress. Summer patch in a Kentucky bluegrass sodded lawn in southern Ohio.
Dollar spot lesions on a Kentucky bluegrass blade. Note there is a band across the leaf, the center is a tan color with darker brown edges before the normal green leaf color. (Photo by Dr. David Gardner)
Dollar spot damage – in a Kentucky bluegrass lawn (photo by J. W. Rimelspach)
Affected “spot” with red thread in a lawn of bluegrass and ryegrass. (Photo by J. W. Rimelspach)
Lesions caused by brown patch on the tall fescue leaves. (Photo by J. W. Rimelspach)
Circular symptom pattern of “patch” disease in a lawn. However affected turf be in spots and streaks.
Summer patch in a Kentucky bluegrass sodded lawn in southern Ohio.
From Georgetown, Ohio
Student at The Ohio State University
Major: Turfgrass Science
Minor: Landscape Construction focusing
on the sports turf side of the industry
Internship and other work history:
I have completed an internship with the Cincinnati Reds Ground Crew and still continue to work there during the summer. During the school year I work with Matt Williams as a student assistant at the Ohio State Turfgrass Research Facility.
Favorite class and why?
My favorite class has been Pam Sherratt’s sports turf class. In that you get the opportunity to go out and fix a local schools field and give back to the community. We also got the opportunity to have different field managers come in and talk to us as well as go out and visit some of the local field managers in the Columbus area. These talks were great because they weren’t the usual talks of this is what I do and this is how I do it. Most of them gave the class talks and taught us some life lessons. One lesson learned in college that you’ll always remember?
A lesson I learned in college is time management. Since my freshman year to my senior year my time management had drastically improved. Favorite memory from your time in college (that you can share! Could be in the classroom, at a job, out on the town…)
My favorite memory so far has been going to the STMA Conference in 2015.
The conference that year was in Denver, Colorado. Myself and two other students planned the whole trip a week and half before the conference. And because of this we ended up booking a flight out of Chicago. So the day of our flight we woke up at 4 am to catch or flight, made it there just in time to catch it. Got to the conference had a good time and placed 6thin the quiz bowl.
Have you had a mentor through college and if so who? What have they taught you?
My mentors through college have been my turf professors, Dr. Gardner, Dr. Danneberger, Dr. Street, Pam Sherratt, and Matt Williams. Each of them has taught me numerous things while I’ve been here. But what makes them great mentors is that we don’t always talk about turf. They’ve all been a tremendous help throughout my time here at Ohio State.
What’s your next step?
After graduation my next step is to hopefully get a job in the sports turf industry. I’m not real picky about where I end up just as long as I’m out in the field doing something I love. I would really like to go out west though and experience the rest of the country.
What are your career ambitions?
My career ambitions are to ultimately end up as a field manager for a team in Major League Baseball. I’ve always had a passion for baseball and working at the highest level would bring me the best of both worlds the highest level of a game I love and a job I love doing.
How do you plan on staying connected with your alma mater?
I plan on staying in touch with the turfgrass program here at Ohio State by offering my service in whichever way they may be needed. I especially plan to keep in touch with the turf club, the club was something that was instrumental to me during my time here at Ohio State, through the turf club I was able to meet many new people and create a bond with other students who have an interest in turf.
WEED CONTROL WHEN SEEDING AND OVERSEEDING
One of the most important operations that you conduct as the manager of an athletic field is to seed or overseed your fields. In college courses you are taught that the best time of year to establish cool season turfgrass by seed is roughly the period from August 15 to September 15.
Agronomically this makes sense because germinating grasses require warm soil temperatures, but are intolerant of sustained summertime heat. The idea is to get the seedlings rapidly germinated and then autumn and early spring provide a period of time in which to establish a good root system prior to the onset of summertime heat and drought stress.
Another very important reason for recommending autumn seeding is that competition from weeds is greatly reduced at that time of year. Crabgrass, for example, begins to germinate when forsythia is in bloom (mid-late April in the Midwest) but actually peaks in germination intensity in May to early June. Thus, a seeding operation that is conducted at that time faces severe competition from crabgrass seedlings.
In addition to crabgrass, there are numerous other annual grassy and broadleaf weeds with germination windows ranging from mid-spring to mid-summer. In the past, this presented a challenge to turfgrass managers because nearly every available herbicide option was not considered safe to apply to seedling turfgrass. However, in recent years, several herbicides have been introduced to the market that, when used according to the label, are safe to seedling turf and this makes it easier to establish turf from seed or to overseed during spring and summer.
Before considering herbicides that can be used at seeding, you should make sure that your cultural practices are optimized so that your new seedlings are as competitive as possible. Conduct a soil test to be sure that any nutrient deficiencies are corrected and to measure your organic matter level, cation exchange capacity and pH levels and take steps to modify if necessary.
If it’s a new seeding you can consider the addition of organic matter to improve the chemical and physical properties of the soil. While beyond the scope of this article, remember that in order to improve drainage, organic matter added to heavy soils can be effective but adding sand to heavy soils is a very bad idea.
Also, make sure that the soil is properly prepared by tilling. This will increase water infiltration, promote adequate aeration, improve root penetration, and improve surface stability against erosion and traffic.
Purchase high quality seed from a reputable dealer and apply the seed at the recommended rate for the species. The temptation is to apply much more than necessary. However, on newly seeded areas not only does this waste money, but the excess competition from having too many seedlings will actually delay establishment, which might increase weed pressure.
After seeding, be sure to irrigate and mow in accordance to the recommendations of your state’s extension service for the species you are establishing.
Preemergence Herbicide Options When Seeding/Overseeding
One strategy that is used in lawn care is to seed in early spring and then after the seedling turf has established, apply a herbicide with pre and early postemergence activity, such as dithiopyr. This strategy requires very careful timing. And, on most athletic surfaces, overseeding is not a once per year operation.
Once the application of dithiopyr is made, as is the case with most preemergence herbicides, then future overseeding operations must be delayed according to the label. In fact, on areas that you plan on seeding or overseeding in late spring or summer, hopefully you did not apply a preemergence herbicide. If you did, then be aware that almost all of the preemergence herbicides on the market are very effective at controlling not only weed seedlings, but also the seedlings of our desired turfgrasses.
Use Table 1 to determine the recommended reseeding interval for the active ingredients used as preemergence herbicides in turfgrass. These were taken straight from the label of a product that contains the herbicide. Note that most of the intervals are long enough that, were they to be applied in March or April, you would not be able to safely overseed until summer.
On Table 1 you will see that there are three preemergence herbicides that are labelled for use at seeding time. These are siduron, mesotrione, and topramazone. Siduron has been available for use in turf for many years. It is safe for use on seedling turf. Follow the label directions carefully. When used properly, siduron will reduce crabgrass, goosegrass, foxtail, and many summer annual broadleaf weeds by about 80%.
Mesotrione is in a unique class of chemistry and this product has a very diverse label, including pre- and post emergence control of both broadleaf weeds and annual grasses. It also controls sedges preemergence and certain perennial weedy grasses postemergence. One of its key uses is the preemergence control of annual grassy and broadleaf weeds in newly seeded turfgrass (Figure 1). When used as directed, Tenacity herbicide will result in nearly complete control of crabgrass, goosegrass, foxtail, and many summer annual broadleaf weeds. But, it will not affect the growth and development of the seedling turf. Most effective use of this product is to apply it to the soil surface right after the seeds have been raked in but before mulch is applied. You can then begin to irrigate as you normally would to establish seedling turfgrass.
Meostrione is very safe to seedling turf. However, some phytotoxicity has been reported if it is applied to young turfgrass seedlings. If you are using multiple applications of mesotrione as part of a program to control stubborn weeds, such as creeping bentgrass, then you want to avoid overseeding or reseeding the area until you are making your last mesotrione application. In other words, it is better to wait and reseed with the second or third mesotrione application, then to seed when the first round of Tenacity is being applied.
Topramazone is a more recent introduction to the turfgrass market. It is similar to mesotrione in its weed control spectrum and its safety to seedling turfgrass. Make sure to follow the label recommendations carefully.
Postemergence Herbicide Options When Seeding/Overseeding
Most postemergence herbicides for broadleaf weed control have language on the label that states that following seeding, the turf needs to be sufficiently established so that it has been mowed 3 times before the product can be safely used. However, there are three active ingredients/products that have label language that allows their use on turfgrass seedlings. These are SquareOne® (carfentrazone + quinclorac), carfentrazone and pyraflufen-ethyl.
SquareOne® is a more recent introduction that combines carfentrazone with quinclorac. According to the label, SquareOne® can be applied as soon as 7 days following the emergence of Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, tall fescue and fine fescue.
In side by side field trials with mesotrione, it was observed that neither mesotrione nor SquareOne® inhibited the germination and establishment of the desired turfgrass. However, both products were quite effective at reducing weed germination (Figure 2). One observation of note was that Tenacity was perhaps slightly better at controlling germinating grassy weeds, while SquareOne® was slightly better at controlling germinating broadleaf weeds, which makes sense, based on the herbicides in each product.
All of the herbicides mentioned in this article are good products and can be quite effective. You can help to improve your chances of success by avoiding the 2-4 week period each year that is the peak of germination for the particular weed species that dominate your fields. For example, each of these products is quite effective at reducing weed establishment when seeding
or overseeeding perennial ryegrass in July (when weed competition begins to drop off – see Figure 1). But, each of these products can produce less than complete weed control if used in mid to late May (the peak of germination for crabgrass and other warm season annual weeds in the Midwest) - see Figure 2. This is more likely to be a problem if the May timing is in conjunction with seeding a slower to germinate species such as Kentucky bluegrass. By simply waiting a couple of weeks (or seeding a couple of weeks earlier), weed seed competition may be greatly reduced, which further increases your chances of success when seeding or overseeding.
David Gardner is an Associate Professor of Horticulture in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, The Ohio State Universit
Table 1. Do not apply a preemergence herbicide to areas that you also plan on overseeding or reseeding unless stated in the table. Otherwise, it will be necessary to wait per the label before seeding.
Figure 1. Control of crabgrass, goosegrass, yellow foxtail, yellow nutsedge, pigweed, and purslane was nearly 100% when mesotrione herbicide was applied at seeding. Perennial ryegrass was seeded into the area, lightly incorporated and then Tenacity was sprayed over the top. Seeding conducted early July. Photographs taken 21 days after seeding. Untreated Plot Plot Treated with mesotrione
Figure 2. Control of annual weeds following application of mesotrione or SquareOne herbicide. Perennial ryegrass was seeded into the area, lightly incorporated and then mesotrione was sprayed over the top. Application of SquareOne was made 7 days after ryegrass seedling emergence. Seeding conducted in mid-May. Photographs taken 60 days after seeding. Untreated Plot Mesotrione applied day of seeding SquareOne applied 7 days after emergence of perennial ryegrass seedling emergence. Seeding conducted in mid-May. Photographs taken 60 days after seeding.
Written by Dr. David Gardner
This article was originally published in Sportsfield Management Magazine.
Plot Treated with mesotrione
Mesotrione applied day of seeding
SquareOne applied 7 days after emergence
of perennial reygrass
STAY AHEAD OF THE ISSUE
PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE FOR YOUR PUMP STATION
Written by Bob Calkins
PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE (PM) VS CATASTROPHIC FAILURE FOR YOUR PUMP STATION
Is your pump station more than 10-15 years old? When was the last time you had your pump station professionally serviced? Preventative versus catastrophic failure repair continues to be a major debate among those paying the bills and those trying to maintain a playable golf course.
One of my first questions to a golf course maintenance staff is; “why should a PM program be any different for a pump station then that of a greens mower?"
Most golf courses have trained mechanics and comprehensive maintenance programs for mowers and other equipment, but the irrigation pump station goes ignored. It has been my experience that this is largely due to the pump station being out of sight and therefore out of mind. A dependable irrigation pump station is a critical component within an irrigation system and should be treated accordingly.
A good PM program should be budgeted and scheduled just like the other equipment used on a golf course.
PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE IS AN INTELLIGENT INVESTMENT
A typical pump station PM program covers a checklist of over 200 items to thoroughly examine the operating status of virtually every component on the pump station. Lubrication of pumps and motors, repacking of pumps, replacement of worn parts and electrical and mechanical checks are performed to provide peak performance, smoother operation, and reduce stress on the irrigation system.
By performing a PM on a yearly basis, test information can be recorded and reviewed from year to year to establish equipment wear and deviations from its original specifications.
Major repairs can be anticipated, budgeted, and scheduled at the golf course’s convenience rather than wasting time and money on emergency repairs during the peak watering season. A PM will reduce the operating cost and extend the life of your pump station. By prolonging the life of your existing pump station the club can save thousands of dollars in interest and delay the eventual capital investment for a new pump station.
In these times when management is asking the golf course superintendent to crunch their operating budgets to the bare bones and still compete for clientele, the question remains, do I pay a little now for peace of mind or wait until the dreaded day the station has a major failure and wind up paying the big bucks?
The pump shaft broke during an irrigation cycle and shut the pump station down on low discharge pressure. The golf course was not properly watered that evening, it was the end of July and the weather forecast for the next two weeks called for hot 90 degree days with light winds.
With only one pump for watering, the following two weeks became extremely stressful for the turf and the golf course maintenance crew.
A typical pump repair can range from $2500-$20,000 dollars.
Catastrophic failures are typically very expensive and in some cases, cause major property damage or severe injury.
An aging tank that had shown signs of rusting, exploded during the night. With the resulting air and water force, it moved the pump station off of its concrete pad, ramming the back wall of the pump house. The door frames were pushed off the front wall of the pump house and the ceiling collapsed.
Repair cost can range from a couple thousand dollars, to the cost of a brand new pump house.
This control panel had some aging electrical components and a loose connection caused an electrical arc-flash resulting in a fire within the panel. Typical panel repair cost can range from $1,000-$65,000.
If someone would have been inside the pump house when either of these two catastrophic failures occurred, they could have been severely injured or killed. In addition to the repair costs, the liability for the golf course could have been enough to ruin many facilities.
BRONZE - $1,500
Bauer Voss Consulting
Dr. Mike Boehm
Dr. Karl Danneberger
Greater Cincinnati GCSA
Rattlesnake Ridge GC
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Dr. Susan Everett
Dr. David Gardner
Dr. Harry Niemczyk
Joseph Noppenberger Jr.
SILVER - $3,000
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DIAMOND - $25,000 +
Dr. Chuck Darrah
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EMERALD - $500
SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR
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The Founders Club is an exclusive group of donors who have invested in the future of turfgrass research, education and scholarships in Ohio.
As the primary funding source of the Ohio Turfgrass Research Trust, the 501 (c) 3 charitable arm of OTF, Founders Club investments are placed in a restricted account which will serve as a perpetual source of giving to turfgrass initiatives in the future.
Founders Club members have been given access to exclusive member events, including an invitation only function this December before the OTF Conference and Show.
Learn more or become a contributor by visiting ohioturfgrass.org/otrt.
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We are excited to welcome back to Ohio, Dr. Ed Nangle! Dr. Nangle will be joining Ohio State as an Assistant Professor at it's Wooster Campus.
Dr. Nangle will be joining Dr. Raudenbush in Wooster and the two will teach within the turfgrass management program in addition to conducting research and outreach.
Nangle returns to Ohio State, where he earned his masters and Ph.D, following more than three years as the director of turfgrass programs with the Chicago District Golf Association.
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