Saturday, July 31, 2010

First Signs of Germination

Friday we saw the first few blades of new grass in the areas slit-seeded Monday.  Germination of bentgrass in 5 days is fast due to high soil temperatures and available moisture.  Today, Saturday, I sighted germination all over #1 fairway.  If you click on the pictures to make them larger, you can see the first fine blades peeking out of the slits:

Bentgrass Germination in Slits
Bentgrass Germination in Slits - Part 2
Saturday morning, we received about 7/10ths of rain.  This will help some areas, but hurt others.  Areas with standing water for prolonged periods may not fair well.  Luckily, it is forecasted to be a cool day topping out at around 80.  Last night was also a cool 65 degrees which lowered soil temperature significantly. 

The rain soaked a few areas more than I would like.  I'm seeing good germination in areas with moderate soil moisture -- say halfway up a hill.  The areas with puddles are having difficulty.  Rain is not always our friend.  Most of the time, we would prefer to supply the moisture ourselves.  Here is a low-lying area that is problematic:
Soaked area on #1 Fairway - No germination yet
It is not a coincidence that the areas with puddles are the areas that died in the first place.  These areas "cooked" in mid-July when the surface water and high temperatures lead to the death of Poa annua.  For more on this phenomenon, see "Turf Notes: Summer Decline of Annual Bluegrass".

Overall, we are happy to see some germination on this fairway.  I would expect to see some of the tees start germinating in the order that we seeded them last week.  I'm guessing we may see some action on #4 and #2 tee by Sunday or Monday.  We are looking at some 90 degree days next week so some mid-day watering will need to be performed.  The trick now is keeping the seedlings alive!

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