Even though we are still actively mowing and frost has not yet been a factor, it won’t be long before we will be itching to get back outside in weather that is 44 degrees, breezy, and feels like a heat wave. Winter is definitely around the corner. Before that happens, let’s make sure we do a few things to button up the golf course. Here is a pre-winter checklist to complete before winter really sets in.

  • Get soil tests and work on a correctional plan from the results. Work with your ATS representative to fix any soil issues that exist. Remember, without the correct nutrient levels and a balanced CEC optimum, turf conditions will not be attained.
  • Let’s repair those areas of concern (grub damage, lost turf, drainage, aerification, wetting agents). Now is the best time for turf recovery, especially while soil temperatures are up. Find the plant type that best fits your need and work in for good seed/soil contact.
  • Locate, mark, edge and clean any areas of concern (catch basins, sprinkler heads, valves, drains). This will help should any issues occur during the off-season and is one less step in the busy start-up of spring.
  • Lower mowing height of all rough grass and remove leaf debris as late as possible in the season. The timing of fall and dormant feed fertilizers, as well as any split pre-emergent herbicides, are key for spring plant health and weed control. A late-season broadleaf application can prove beneficial as well, especially when coupled with specialty Foliar-Pak products that enhance product uptake.
  • Add a heavier layer of topdressing sand to your greens, once you are ready to put the mowers away for the season, it will help protect against high winds that can cause major stress to unprotected turf, particularly on mounds and high points of your golf course.
  • Properly blow out your irrigation system. Schedule your compressor rental ahead of time. Take your time with the blowout. Go back through and hit the low spots and pay special attention to recommended pressure regulations.

These are just a few ideas to assist turf professionals. We are almost ready to sharpen the chainsaws, mount the snowplows, and finalize budgets for next year. Good luck with the rest of the year and let us know what we can do to help you.