The rain event that took place this morning at Stow Acres was the first rain we have seen since July 4th. That rain event included 0.62″ in 20 minutes. It was certainly not a beneficial rain because it was so much in a short amount of time. This morning we received 0.12″ over a one hour period. This brought our monthly total to 0.74″ of rain, when July averages really are 3.3″. It was nice to see the immediate impact it had many turf areas starting to go dormant. I would like to take a minute to explain this phenomenon of brown grass. Here at Stow, we have what is called single row irrigation. This row runs down the center of every tee and fairway, sometimes not even covering the entire edges of the fairway in a cycle. We are fortunate enough to have loops and quick couplers around the greens. The brown grass that you may see during your round is usually the result of no irrigation or inadequate irrigation in the rough, fairway, or tee complex. I can assure you that it is not a lack of hours from staff. We spend tireless amounts of time making sure every area that we can water is fully hydrated each day. When temperatures reach as high they have in the past few weeks and we do not have any help from nature, the turf plant begins to shut down. In simple terms, it goes into hibernation to stay alive. It drastically reduces the rate of photosynthesis and slowly stops absorbing water and nutrients. It has entered survival mode. Some grass plants can do this much better than others. Also, if the plant goes through this process slowly, it has a much better chance. When the plant is consistently watered with pond, lake, or river water, there are many other factors that one must consider. Two major factors that we have to be aware of are sodium and bicarbonate levels. After a prolonged period, excessive pond water can become harmful to the turf if water and soils are not balanced. Today’s technology has allowed us to maintain and monitor proper levels daily. Our maintenance team is very thankful for the rain this morning. We will continue to work hard to keep it green inside the ropes for you. If you have any questions regarding this post, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you on the course!
-Jason VanBuskirk, Superintendent