Stow Acres Turf

Golf Course Maintenance News & Live Updates from @stowacresturf

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Going to bed properly…

There is quite a bit of work to do to ensure that the golf course is put to bed properly.  Tasks include a variety of things such as blowing out the irrigation system, spraying greens, tees, and fairways with a preventative fungicide for snow mold, extensive leaf cleanup, green and tee extensions, and even removing a few trees. We have been very busy this Fall as we underwent a hurricane and snow storm in back to back weeks. Fortunately, both courses escaped unscathed for the most part even aiding in leaf drop which allows us to clean more sooner. This week we will begin by treating the greens with a nutrient spray and continuing the leaf cleanup effort. We will also blow out the irrigation system on Thursday and Friday. The week of Thanksgiving we will begin spraying fairways and tees with our annual snow mold preventative. This can be a pesky disease that can leave a majority of our turf looking dismal if it is left untreated. The final weeks of preparation will take place in early December with snow mold and anti-desiccant treatment to all 39 greens. In order to protect the greens for the winter, we apply an anti-desiccant with green coloring.  This product helps the turf from losing too much moisture during periods of strong, cold wind.  We also apply a snow mold protectant.  Snow mold is a fungal pathogen that mainly attacks the leaf blade of just about every variety of cool season grasses. This is a liquid product and it is applied using our spray rig. The two practice greens and 9 North typically have seen the most amount of winter damage.  This cover is a permeable, tarp-like cover that allows air exchange and moisture to pass through, but still keep the turf insulated and protected from the elements. 

Thanks for your tremendous support this season.  It has definitely been a memorable one.  I will leave you with a video that was just published to thanks to the guys at EPIC Creative. They visited Stow in July to shoot a commercial on the use of wetting agents and surfactants. Once our turf has been properly put to bed, we will commence winter projects. Please check back soon to read about some of the events in maintenance.

-Jason VanBuskirk, Superintendent


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Inspector Gadget…

I was born in 1984 and it wasn’t until the late 80s early 90s that I really became interested in cartoons.  Inspector Gadget was a favorite of mine and my brother.  That guy really did have everything he needed at his fingertips.  His life, or detective life, was made so simple because of a handful of creative gadgets.  Looking back, it almost seems like the creators had a crystal ball looking into 2011.  Now, it seems like everyday, engineers and creators all over the world are coming out with the next best gadget.  I would like to quickly share with you three gadgets that have made my turf life much simpler.

The iPad:

This device is one of the most essential tools for the Golf Course Superintendent.  I know I don’t need to elaborate on reasons for most of you, but it has helped me tremendously since I got one for my birthday back in January.  The app store allows for so much to be accomplished on one little tablet.  Scheduling, weather forecasting, application recording, idea collaboration, and even irrigation running and programming are all done from the iPad.  The best app for me has been LogMeIn Ignition.  This allows me to connect to my Rainbird Irrigation Central and run any head in the field.  It also allows me to program, add stations, delete stations, change stations and run times from anywhere I have WiFi or 3G capability.  It has easily increased my personal efficiency by at least 50%.  Other essential apps have been Evernote, WritePad, Calendars, Intellicast HD, and Dropbox.  If you are familiar with the iPad, download them and take a look.  I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

ZaggMate Case/keyboard:

There is really not a whole lot that needs to be said about this awesome accessory for the iPad except, buy it!   It is crafted with military grade aluminum, ensuring extra protection.

It has a hard bluetooth qwerty keyboard built-in, allowing for quick typing and comfort.  Check it out here:

Cinemin Swivel:

Have those troubling board meetings to attend each week or month?  Still unsure about how to get your points across without holding an on-course field trip with your entire membership or ownership?  This little gadget is perfect.  This is actually a pocket projector from Wowwee.  It is the size of an iPhone and comes with a little carrying case and adapters for a PC, laptop, or iPad/iPhone.  Its ideal partner is the iPad, but that’s only for extra convenience.  I just got this device for Father’s day, and I haven’t had a real chance to use it to its fullest capability.  I know its going to be perfect for meetings, intern education sessions, college lectures, and even movies in the shop (during snow storms of course).  Check it out here:

Thanks for checking out this post!  Hopefully these gadgets will help you just as much as they have helped me.  Email me at with any questions.

-Jason VanBuskirk, Superintendent