Another exciting week at the Mink

We turned our little corner of the island into Aquinnah this week with fog almost every day. Sometimes it lasted until noon. The weather was outstanding with highs of 69 and 70 a couple of days. We took delivery of a new moisture meter and started taking readings to figure out how the tool works. It was interesting to see even with temps that high the moisture level went up just from the fog and heavy dew. I will explain more about the meter in future posts. We began hosing fairways on a regular basis and continued the general cleanup of sticks and twigs. The course is looking spiffy and greening up ahead of schedule. The weather has everyone excited and it is easy to forget it is still march. We prepped an area to use up the extra sod from the pallet I picked up to finish 2 bunker last week. This was laid down on Monday in between the back tees on four. We also cut sod from the tall grass to the left of 1 to use on the berm of the material storage area. Will scrounged around the clubhouse beds and we managed to get enough decorative grasses to wrap up the landscaping on this berm. By mid-summer this area should look close to how I envision the final product. As the grasses mature it will have a nice tall grass flare similar to the edges of the course.

sod job between 4 tees

Back of bins with sod and grass clumps pruned short
video
The above video is of Bert chasing the hose. something he has done since his arrival as a puppy. He tries to bite the large connector. I try to discourage this since I feel he will hurt himself but it is quite funny at times. Maybe you have to see him in person and like his antics?
We also had the gas pump replaced this week. We will develop a better system to try and avoid pumping the tank dry. This is the main cause of our pump failure according to our service contractor. It is difficult when you have so many people pumping from this tank. There is our staff but then also the pro-shop staff fueling up carts. The easy solution is for Will to never let the tank get low enough to pump dry. We upgraded to a better model this time and hopefully will get decades of usage.
We turned on the irrigation system this week also. Not the earliest ever but close. The pressure maint. pump cycle was at 42 minutes for the first few hours and down to 31 minutes this morning. This cycle tells us how tight the system is in reference to any leaks. The water in the pipe does move a bit as the elevation of the course changes. As you may know water always tries to seek its own level so the more elevation you have the more the water tries to move around. This effects the cycle of the pressure maint. pump and also the degree to which your piping leaks. 4 cycles an hour is a fairly tight system according to our pump station company. That would mean a pm pump cycle of 15 minutes. It varies throughout the year and we run anywhere from 10-25 minutes. My theory is that we still have some air in the system and that bounces around a bit but also we have lots of old abandoned galvanized pipe that rusts up over the winter and seals itself. As the water moves around and the rust flakes off the galvi pipe starts to leak. We may never see small leaks on pipe down 3-7 feet in our sandy soils at the surface so this cycle gets lower as the season progresses. We check this cycle every morning while the system is on to see what headaches may be in store for us. So far so good.

gas pump company replacing pump and doing annual inspection for State
video
 The above video is of a piece galvanized pipe on eight that we discovered one year. We always put a valve of some type on these so we can winterize them. The ones in high locations also serve as air release points when filling the system. In the fall we blow compressed air into the system to force the water out. As we fill with water this air needs to escape so we open a few parts of the system and monitor the flow of water. Once the system is up to pressure we vent the rest of the air by running all the sprinklers.
I also applied an application of ferrous sulfate or iron to the greens this week. Heavy rates of this product can turn the turf black at first and then after a few days dark green. These rates will also kill moss and other weeds but not the turf. We do not have a moss issue but do have some minor weeds in a few greens. The greens turf took the app well with most of the blackness occurring on the higher cut turf in the rough. The weeds did not get as beat up as I had hoped though so I may have to raise the rate for the next application. Oh yeah and the new carts came in this week.
4 green. notice straight line in approach and black color of rough on bunker top

1st green after second mowing yesterday afternoon


Bert inspecting new carts. he just jumped out but was checking for crackers...

Frank hard at work filling divots after a winters worth of heavy play

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