Fast 3-Weeks

It must be Spring since that was one of the fastest 20 days, since my last post, I can remember. A lot has happened with many things coming together to prepare for our first tournament. Much of the work was simply mowing on a more consistent basis. I have written in these pages how important mowing is and explained the basic rule of thirds, or so I thought. I looked for the post to add a link but could not find it amid the 329 posts! I know I did a Toastmasters speech about it so here is a bumper sticker: Never cut more than a 1/3rd of the leaf blade at one time. This is very stressful to the plant and also confusing. It gets accustomed to a height and the more you mow it the thicker it will get. So when you let your lawn grow for weeks on end then hack it down, it usually turns yellow as it goes into shock. It may also thin out from that stress. By getting the course mowed on a consistent basis the turf just looked tighter and more healthy. Mowing is all based on growth rate so as the weather improves and the turf starts to grow you increase the mowing to match. Notice I did not say anything about fertilizer. People use way too much fertilizer. As I drive around there are lawns so green it hurts my eyes. It does not look healthy to me, instead it looks fake and I know it is forced. I have applied to greens only .06 #'s of nitrogen on 4/28 as a liquid spray, and then this week as part of aerifying .32 #'s as an organic based granular. That's it for nitrogen on the entire course so far. We ALL are regulated to 3 #'s of Nitrogen /1000 ft2 per season on MV. Train yourself away from the technicolor green Scotts has brainwashed you to think is what a good lawn is supposed to look like. They are a fertilizer company so of course they want you to run out and "feed it" as often as you can. Look for all the subtle colors throughout a landscape even among the green. Enough soap box.

Red Top in fescue area # 8

6th hole last week - NO Nitrogen applied
Another project we tackled was to replace/add the heat shrinkable vinyl to the bunker rakes. Before this product came to the golf market rake handles would become faded and even degraded to the point that you could get fiberglass splinters. We tried amorall, paint, rotating the handle to spread the exposure, you name it. I used to have two sets keeping the best ones for "in-season". Since Vinyl Guard they look brand new for years even when out in the sun year-round. It took all day to take the old vinyl and grips off and apply the new ones but the end result is worth it. See the pictures below:
This was under the old vinyl
The greens have been aerified and topdressed and are recovering nicely. Much like a human patient and a surgical procedure the healthier you are before hand the better the recovery. The greens were so good this Spring and they got there because of aerifying and have taken the process well because of their health. A little heat will help but unfortunately we are in a cold spell at the moment. Sunday's rain will help wash in that topdressing. Happy Mother's Day
sunrise today 5/11/17 4th hole

Adventures of Belle - update. That bird gets around

If you follow this blog you may remember me showing you Belle the osprey. I found this phone app and then a website that lets you follow birds that have been outfitted with GPS tracking devices. It was great fun to watch Belle and others make their journey from South America back up to the North East. Well a couple of weeks ago, on my way to the homestead on the Cape, Belle was hanging out in Mashpee right where I drive, so I dragged my wife Cheryl to see if we could get a glimpse.

GPS is accurate

Was an osprey way out over this pond
The phone app showed Belle at this little water body right off the main road. We pulled in and drove right by it and headed to the big pond thinking it had to be wrong. We could hear an osprey flying over the pond so I took a picture and was disappointed in the accuracy of the GPS unit. As we drove out looking at the little mud puddle where it said she was we both saw an osprey fly right over. I pulled out onto Rt 130 and then pulled over hoping to see her again but did not. I have checked in on her over the last two weeks and the silly bird has been all over. She took a day trip out here and another to Chatham.

Trip to MV
Trip to Chatham

"Silly bird has been all over"

Gypsy Girl
It appears by the last update I grabbed above Belle has made a few trips out to Martha's Vineyard. After traveling all the way from South America a few miles everyday to explore around is no big deal. Our osprey who comes in and stays on one nest for the entire season seems dull by comparison. 

Golf Auction Tee Up New England

It is that time of year again for the annual Tee Up New England auction. We have 99 clubs in NE that have donated rounds of golf to the NERTF We then take these rounds and run an on-line auction with all the proceeds going towards Turf Research in New England. Mink has been donating to this auction since the beginning. Check out the site Tee-up NE