Summer is less than two months away and most golf courses have officially opened for the season. The weather is still cool but superintendents need to start their plan to protect golf course turf in the summer heat. Hot and humid weather can be a recipe for disaster on the golf course. Being able to protect golf course turf in the summer heat depends on the superintendent’s ability to be vigilant and have a plan in place to remedy any problems and emergencies that come up.
How to Protect Golf Course Turf in Summer Heat
Keep your irrigation system working well.
This is one of the more obvious ways to protect golf course turf in the summer heat but it is also one of the most important. If there is a heatwave or dry period on the way, you’ll want to make sure the course irrigation system is in good working order. Misalignments, inefficiencies, or malfunctioning heads can set your turf up for a disaster. There are specific areas that you’ll notice a poor irrigation system first. These are fairway edges, banks of the greens, bunkers, and the rough.
Map out your turf disease prevention plan now.
High temperatures and high humidity make a quintessential northeast summer. With these two things, conditions become very favorable for various turf diseases. Starting a treatment plan for Dollar Spot and Brown Patch now and continue the applications throughout the summer. Pythium Blight can also rear its ugly head when the temperature reaches seventy degrees and it rains. All of these diseases can be controlled if caught early. Once the temperature starts to rise, be sure to watch your turf closely.
Mow with care during a hot and humid period.
When the weather heats up, consider adjusting the mower’s height by 1/64 to 1/32 of an inch. If greens are already looking distressed, you may want to skip a mowing or two. More mowing can actually make the turf’s problem worse. Keep an eye on the turf and use your observations to decide when to mow again.
Start your summer care for the golf course in spring.
If you can get your turf healthy in the spring, chances are that it will be easier to keep healthy in the summer. Make sure you perform annual spring aeration, fertilize, start preventative fungicide applications, and test your soil. Take the extra time you have in spring to make sure you have your turf health plan in place before summer hits.