Guest blogger: Chris Tritabaugh
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
by Kari Soderberg
This summer, BASF Turf Talk is featuring several superintendent guest bloggers from around the country. Each guest blogger will share their top management practices to keep their courses’ turfgrass healthy and playable this summer. Read on as Chris Tritabaugh, superintendent at Northland Country Club in Duluth, Minnesota, shares his insights.
Guest blogger superintendent Chris Tritabaugh discusses top summer practices
One thing we’re doing this summer is alternating mowing and rolling to help reduce stress on the greens. It also allows us to keep the greens a little drier and still get the speed our members want.
Growth regulators everywhere are key and really important to our whole program. With all the rain we’ve had this year—from April 1 to end of June we had 25 inches of rain—we’ve had some trouble getting growth regulators applied in a timely manner.
Another important part of our summer program is water management. We use a moisture meter daily to check moisture levels on the greens. The measurements are then used to create a watering plan for the greens. We do deep and frequent irrigation on fairways and tees.
During our summer stress period, typically July 1 to Sept. 1, we conduct regular nitrogen spoon feedings. Our summer stress period is quite a bit shorter than some of the other courses in the United States.
Overall, something that all superintendents and their crew have to do in this business is constantly observe and monitor course conditions. Things can change pretty fast, especially this time of year. They can go from really good to dead in a day and a half if you’re not careful. My assistants and I are always watching course conditions.
Fortunately for us, the serious Duluth flooding in late June left the integrity of our course intact. We had some creek damage and there is still some material from upstream on the course that needs to be removed, but nothing too major. All that water and flooding, however, certainly made things interesting for awhile.
Learn more about Chris and his turf maintenance practices on his blog, “Northland Country Club Turfgrass Management” http://northlandgrounds.blogspot.com/