The art of Japanese golf course turf maintenance

There’s a short video about greenkeeper Mamoru Shoji and course maintenance at Kasumigaseki CC on YouTube. I especially like the view from the drone just after the 3 minute mark, showing the greens nestled among the carefully trimmed pine trees.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Disturbance

When I think about disturbance, I think primarily of verticutting and hollow-tine coring and sand topdressing and then brushing that sand in. Such an approach—one with disturbance—requires a faster growth rate too, and higher nutrient inputs, in order to recover from the disturbance.

Growing bentgrass in tropical heat

Bentgrass grows more—or at least it produces more clippings for a while—when temperatures are higher than optimum for net photosynthesis. This means that you’ll typically see more clippings when the temperature is above the optimum for cool-season grass, even though the growth potential (GP) goes down at those high temperatures.

No core aeration, no deep verticutting, and surprise! No summer decline

Perspective. It’s funny how that works. When I first read this research report in 2011, I skimmed over some parts, and cherry-picked what I was looking for — that 15 to 20% surface area removal was required every year in order to keep soil organic matter under control.

A "new" column, starting with creeping bentgrass heat stress

There’s a new column on the Nichino Ryokka website. It’s a collaboration between ATC and Nichino Ryokka, with some selected content from the ATC site published in Japanese. The first column is here, and the topic is a 12 point checklist for dealing with creeping bentgrass heat stress (the original list is here).

Hollow-tine cultivation and solid-tine spiking both failed to alleviate summer bentgrass decline

A late July solid-tine spiking treatment of a creeping bentgrass green in Hokkaido, Japan. How’s this for a lede? “Hollow-tine coring and solid-tine spiking practices may not alleviate creeping bentgrass summer decline.

Radish seedlings on a bentgrass nursery after fumigation

Last November I saw a creeping bentgrass nursery in Japan. The nursery had been fumigated to kill seeds in the soil before the bentgrass seeds were planted. I was surprised to see, scattered across the nursery, plants with big leaves that clearly were not creeping bentgrass.

Can you see the P?

The MLSN guideline for phosphorus (P) is 21 ppm. I usually recommend enough P fertilizer to keep soil P, as measured by the Mehlich 3 extractant, from dropping below 21 ppm.

Competition, stress, and disturbance

I completely forgot a few great articles when I put together this list of articles that are specifically not about turfgrass. One of those I forgot is Evidence for the existence of three primary strategies in plants and its relevance to ecological and evolutionary theory.

Flights and favorite turf photos of 2018

As I say at the end of every year, it was another extraordinary year for studying grass around the world. In 2018 I took 107 flights for a total distance of 314,748 km (195,575 miles).