Winter Injury – Preparing Golf Course Turfgrasses For Winter – Series Of Reports Sponsored By PBI Gordon – 2016 10-11 00 – A Look At Everything That You Need To Know About This Destructive Condition Of Turfgrasses






Preparing Golf Course

Turfgrasses For Winter


Fall Preparation



Preparing Turfgrass For Surviving


The Upcoming Winter





October-November 2016


Golf Course Industry ( GCI )


Series Of Reports Sponsored By PBI Gordon


Selected And Adapted Excerpts












Protect Against Winter Desiccation And Freeze Injury


Laying down covers and performing light topdressing are two methods superintendents can use to protect their turf against winter desiccation.


While Annual Bluegrass is susceptible to both winter desiccation and freeze injury, Creeping Bentgrass is more affected by desiccation than freeze injury.


If superintendents expect dry conditions and choose to fight desiccation by applying covers, they should apply a fungicide in the event that the cover increases the turf’s susceptibility to snow molds.



Covers Used To Protect Turf Against Winter Injury


Annual Bluegrass can survive under ice between 45 and 90 days, while Creeping Bentgrass can survive under ice between 90 and 120 days.


Superintendents who use impermeable covers should also pull the covers off as temperatures once again hit 40 to 50 degrees.


Permeable covers help re-establish putting greens in the spring.


Covers are a better practice than topdressing, but they are more expensive.





Researchers consistently ward off winter desiccation with aggressive fall topdressing applications.


Topdressing all year-round is the best way to prevent winter desiccation, so you might NOT think about it in July, but that July topdressing is helping to keep the turf crowns buried.



Apply Fungicides For Snow Mold Diseases


Superintendents should NOT treat for Snow Mold Diseases before the first frost, but they should treat before snow cover if they are in an area where disease pressure is high.


The Snow Mold fungi begin to germinate and grow when soil temperatures reach about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so an application three to four weeks prior to your final application can act to reduce Snow Mold inoculum at an early stage.


Microdochium Patch ( Pink Snow Mold ) can grow without snow cover.


Microdochium Patch more often develops between December and February.


Gray or Speckled Snow Mold can begin growing in October, but it is NOT usually visible until the spring.


A high-potassium ( with high-phosphorus ) fertilizer mixture may be used to suppress Microdochium Patch ( Fusarium Patch, Pink Snow Mold ) disease.



Increase Mowing Heights


The higher the top growth is, the deeper the root system will be.



Pigments ( Colorants )


In the north, pigments can be applied in the late fall to help boost plant health coming out of winter as turf recovers from damage in the spring.


Pigments warm the canopy by absorbing more light because they’re dark, which may help the plant grow quicker    because coming out of winter dormancy, soils are cold.



Fall Nitrogen Fertilization


As with any other time of year, superintendents will benefit through the winter by balancing their soil fertility ahead of time.


Apply nitrogen in the fall.


Standard application rates are approximately a half-pound per thousand square feet for short cut turf and three-quarters-of a-pound to a pound for rough.


Green turf is a sign of health, even during autumn months.


Green turf is NOT normally an indicator for an impending cold temperature calamity.


With late-fall nitrogen fertilization, root development will be favoured, and shoot growth will be reduced.


Late-fall nitrogen fertilization will potentially decrease turf susceptibility to cold temperatures.


When average autumn temperatures range from 7 to 10 degrees Centigrade ( 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit ) for a period of three to five consecutive days, shoot growth will stop    roots remain active late into the fall, longer than shoots.


This is the time to apply fertilizer for optimum late fall nitrogen fertilization.


Nitrogen applied after mid-November is called dormant nitrogen fertilization, and it is NOT likely that it will improve the plant’s resistance to cold temperatures.


Late-fall nitrogen fertilization will NOT « awaken » turf, nor will it increase turf susceptibility to cold temperatures.




















Preparing Golf Course

Turfgrasses For Winter


Three Keys To A

 Successful Winter






November 1st, 2016


Golf Course Industry ( GCI )


Sponsored By PBI Gordon


Selected And Adapted Excerpts





Three Keys To A Successful Winter Shutdown





Before blowing out their irrigation systems and shutting down their golf courses, superintendents in the North should follow these guidelines.


The answer to the question of how to prepare for winter, even in the North, is highly specific based on region. 


Peaks, valleys, oceans, lakes and latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates divvy up the golf courses that should consider one management practice over another. 


Here, turf experts offer their advice on what superintendents across the North can do.




Three Keys To A Successful Winter Shutdown


Protect Against Winter Desiccation And Freeze Injury



DRY AND WINDY CONDITIONS in areas such as Western Iowa, Nebraska, and farther west toward the Rocky Mountains, can lead to WINTER DESICCATION, says Dr Nick Christians, professor of turfgrass management in Iowa State University’s Department of Horticulture.


According to Dr Christians   



Laying Down Covers And Performing

Light Topdressing Are Two Methods

Superintendents Can Use To Protect

Their Turf Against Winter Desiccation



Budget is a major determining factor regarding which route to pursue.


According to Dr Christians   



Covers Are A Better Practice

Than Topdressing, But They

Are More Expensive



Winter watering is also a major practice in drier areas, Dr Christians says. 


According to Dr Christians   


It’s so dry that you’ll lose the grass if you don’t get some water on it.


That’s true in Colorado and Wyoming and Western Nebraska and places like that. 


You’ve got to put some water on them in the wintertime or you’ll lose them.


WINTER DESICCATION is less of an issue in areas around Ohio than it is out West, says Dr Karl Danneberger, professor in Ohio State University’s Department of Horticulture and Crop Science. 


But some superintendents might want to TOPDRESS FAIRLY HEAVY LATE IN THE SEASON for another reason    FREEZE INJURY. 


Unlike TOPDRESSING for WINTER DESICCATION, TOPDRESSING for FREEZE INJURY is NOT directly related to budget concerns. 


According to Dr Danneberger   



While Annual Bluegrass Is

Susceptible To Both Winter

Desiccation And Freeze Injury,

Creeping Bentgrass Is More Affected

By Desiccation Than Freeze Injury



The answer to the question of whether to TOPDRESS would be largely determined by what a specific superintendents’ TOPDRESSING PROGRAM looks like for the rest of the year, says Mr Bob Vavrek, director of the USGA putting greens Section’s Central Region.


In certain regions, such as the central part of Iowa where Dr Christians conducts research, turf can suffer from WINTER DESICCATION in one year and from SNOW MOLD DISEASES in another year. 


Winter 2014-2015 was wet there, and 2016-2017 is shaping up to have similar results    conditions Dr Christian says are good for superintendents.


According to Dr Christians   


If they go into the fall in good, wet conditions, that is a better guarantee they’re going to get through.


If they go when it’s really dry, going into winter, then they’ve got to more carefully prepare for [ WINTER ] DESICCATION.


According to Dr Christians   



If Superintendents Expect Dry

Conditions And Choose To Fight

Desiccation By Applying Covers,

They Should Apply A Fungicide In The

Event That The Cover Increases The

Turf’s Susceptibility To Snow Molds




Three Keys To A Successful Winter Shutdown


Apply Fungicides For Snow Mold Diseases



In Michigan and Wisconsin and northern parts of New York and Ohio, SNOW MOLD TREATMENTS become the most important uses of FUNGICIDES on golf courses, Dr Danneberger says.


According to Dr Danneberger   


I’ve known guys to miss it.


They’ve lucked out.


Sometimes the snow will disappear and they’ll get a chance to go out and spray.


But that’s real critical.


Many superintendents around the Great Lakes TREAT FAIRWAYS WITH FUNGICIDES FOR THE DISEASE. 


To the south, in areas such as Columbus, where Ohio State is located, superintendents MORE OFTEN LIMIT FUNGICIDE APPLICATIONS TO PUTTING GREENS AND TEES, Dr Danneberger says. 


In those areas 



Pink Snow Mold

( Microdochium Patch )

Can Grow Without

Snow Cover



According to Dr Paul Koch, assistant professor of plant pathology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison   


Nearly all of the country can experience PINK SNOW MOLD, and for the Pacific Northwest, and much of the North, PINK SNOW MOLD CAN BE OBSERVED BEGINNING IN OCTOBER.


Throughout the rest of the country 



Pink Snow Mold

( Microdochium Patch )

More Often Develops

Between December

And February


Gray Or Speckled Snow

Mold Can Begin Growing

In October, But It Is

NOT Usually Visible

Until The Spring



According to Dr Koch, in general 



Superintendents Should NOT Treat

For Snow Molds Before The First

Frost, But They Should Treat Before

Snow Cover If They Are In An Area

Where Disease Pressure Is High


The Snow Mold Fungi Begin To

Germinate And Grow When Soil

Temperatures Reach About 50

Degrees Fahrenheit, So An Application

Three To Four Weeks Prior To Your Final

Application Can Act To Reduce Snow

Mold Inoculum At An Early Stage



Many combinations of FUNGICIDES can provide quality control and fit different budgets, says Dr Koch, who advises that superintendents speak with representatives.


Although fungicide application dates and rates are highly region    and weather-specific, there is one general truth, Mr Vavrek says.


According to Mr Vayrek   


Pretty much every state would at least probably treat putting greens, tees, for SNOW MOLD.


Mr Bob Vavrek is director of the USGA Putting Greens Section’s Central Region.




Three Keys To A Successful Winter Shutdown


Maintain Soil Fertility



According to Dr Aaron J Patton, associate professor of agronomy at Purdue University 



As With Any Other Time Of Year,

Superintendents Will Benefit

Through The Winter By Balancing

Their Soil Fertility Ahead Of Time


Apply Nitrogen In The Fall


Standard Application Rates Are

Approximately A Half-Pound Per

Thousand Square Feet For Short

Cut Turf And Three-Quarters-Of-

A-Pound To A Pound For Rough



Depending on the time of year and the region, superintendents might apply fertilizers in granular form, Mr Vavrek says. 


Conversely, some superintendents might NOT put down a late fall application at all.


The dates between FALL FERTILIZATION and DORMANT FERTILIZATION vary from region to region, Dr Vavrek says.


According to Mr Vavrek   


You’re going to see a big difference in a state like Illinois.


The days they’re going to recommend in Evansville or let’s say, Carbondale, Illinois, are going to be different than Chicago.


In areas that consistently have SNOW MOLD DISEASES, such as Northern Minnesota, Northern Wisconsin, the Northeast and at high altitudes in the Rocky Mountains, superintendents should be particularly careful NOT TO OVERFERTILIZE, Dr Christians says.


Researchers in Ohio State University’s Department of Horticulture and Crop Science generally support LATE-SEASON NITROGEN FERTILIZATION, Dr Danneberger says. 




According to Dr Danneberger   


If you get on really sandy mediums and things like that, they may say it leaches.


But as a general rule, I like LATE-SEASON FERTILIZATION.


If a golf course’s soil needs POTASSIUM, ONE POUND PER THOUSAND SQUARE FEET IS A GOOD AMOUNT, Dr Patton says. 


According to Dr Patton 


That’s kind of known as a WINTERIZER-type element, but most research with POTASSIUM shows that if your SOIL TESTS don’t indicate you need POTASSIUM, there’s really NOT a benefit to those late fall POTASSIUM applications.


So I just would encourage superintendents to apply POTASSIUM based on what the SOIL TESTS say they need.


The author Patrick Williams is a Cleveland-based writer and frequent GCI contributor.




















Preparing Golf Course

Turfgrasses For Winter


5 Steps To

 Achieving Better

 Fall Rooting





November 1st, 2016


Golf Course Industry ( GCI )


Sponsored By PBI Gordon


Selected And Adapted Excerpts





5 Steps To Achieving Better Fall Rooting





Following these tips, superintendents can hone in on the part of the plant they cannot see.


Somewhere underground, a sprawling organism trenches in, staving off efforts to come to the light.


At least that’s the hope for superintendents, who don’t want a shallow root system to jeopardize their turf’s resistance to winter elements.


To keep roots deep, researchers say, they can adhere to the following recommendations.




5 Steps To Achieving Better Fall Rooting


Increase Mowing Heights



The turfgrass principle of INCREASING MOWING HEIGHTS in the fall goes back decades, but is still important today, says Dr Keith Karnok, professor of turf management in the University of Georgia’s Department of Crop and Soil Sciences.



The Higher The Top Growth Is, The

Deeper The Root System Will Be



According to Dr Karnok 


If you can mow it just a little bit higher, there’s more leaf material up there for the leaves to intercept the sun, to make the carbohydrates that will then go to the root system and be stored.


Bermudagrass fairways in the Transition Zone are SUSCEPTIBLE to winterkill, says Dr John Sorochan, distinguished professor of turfgrass science in the University of Tennessee’s Department of Plant Sciences. 


According to Dr Sorochan 


Superintendents can sustain SIGNIFICANT ROOT GROWTH on those fairways by INCREASING MOWING HEIGHTS to around THREE-QUARTERS OF AN INCH or a little bit higher. 


That helps, one, insulate the crown of the grass a little bit, but more so it encourages THE TALLER THE GRASS, THE LONGER THE ROOTS, the more rooting, so for the winter storage of nutrients and carbohydrates to go into those growing points below ground.


The superintendent needs to do what he can do to protect the grass and have it come back the next year.


Although golfers often express concerns about higher grass, it is worth it, Dr Sorochan says.




5 Steps To Achieving Better Fall Rooting


Give The Roots Adequate Nutrients



Root-feeding fertilization on putting greens can go a long way to maintaining root growth, says Dr Douglas Karcher, professor in the University of Arkansas’ Department of Horticulture. 


Superintendents can apply either a spray or granular fertilizer. 


According to Dr Karcher 


Make sure that it’s NOT a nitrogen-only, that it includes ALL NUTRIENTS that might possibly be limiting growth, and so ( superintendents ) would need to have a soil test and have an idea of what needs to be applied.


POTASSIUM and IRON can become deficient in sandy putting greens root-zones, Dr Kays says.


Generally, right before or after aeration would be the best time to fertilize, Dr Karcher says.





Roots Remain Active Late Into

The Fall, Longer Than Shoots



According to Dr Karcher 


Even when it’s gotten really cold in late fall and we’re NOT mowing much grass and we’re NOT getting a lot of clippings in the putting greens mower baskets, THOSE ROOTS ARE STILL GROWING ALMOST UP UNTIL THE TIME WHEN THE SOILS ARE STARTING TO FREEZE.


So that’s something that can be done later in the fall   a good complete fertilization using quick-release nitrogen sources.




5 Steps To Achieving Better Fall Rooting


Don’t Apply Too Much Nitrogen



Fall fertilizer application rates vary depending on grass type, region and other factors, but superintendents should be careful with their NITROGEN APPLICATIONS because TOO MUCH NITROGEN COULD SLOW ROOT GROWTH, Dr Karnok says. 


According to Dr Karnok 


If you can HOLD BACK ON YOUR NITROGEN SOME, your roots will be better off for it, which means you’re holding back the top growth from growing rapidly, so the carbohydrates are going to be stored in the plant or they’re going to root growth.


Many superintendents who lose turf in the summer aim to recover by applying nitrogen heavily, Dr Karnok says.


According to Dr Karnok 


They say, « Well, I’ve lost so much grass, I’ve got to get this grass to spread back over, and the only way I’m going to do that, short of re-establishing, is get it to grow faster ».


If superintendents need to recover from summer losses, they can choose to apply extra NITROGEN so long as they effectively maintain growth through other processes.


If recovery isn’t a concern, they can save themselves trouble in the long run by applying LESS NITROGEN.




5 Steps To Achieving Better Fall Rooting


Consider Irrigating Deeper And Less Frequently



Although it is common to apply light and frequent irrigation in the absence of rainfall throughout the summer, following aeration in the late summer or early fall, superintendents should consider switching to a deeper, less frequent cycle, Dr Karcher says. 


According to Dr Karcher 


Once roots are 5 or 6 inches deep, then you can water to that depth.


Then you can go every second or third day.


By doing that, you will keep the surface a little drier between irrigations, and that will encourage even more root growth.


A lot of superintendents now have a TDR moisture probe, so if they’re monitoring their trouble spots on their putting greens    the spots that tend to dry out the quickest    they should know, «  OK, it’s NOT drying out as fast and we’re holding some moisture in here a little longer.  Now we can maybe go an extra day between irrigation events.  »


Because conditions vary among golf courses, superintendents will need to determine for themselves how to best alter their irrigation cycles to fit fall conditions, Dr Karcher says.


By irrigating less frequently, superintendents will maintain the higher oxygen levels within the first few inches of the root-zone.




5 Steps To Achieving Better Fall Rooting


Use Wetting Agents To Fight Dry Spots And Winter Desiccation



Often, sands in the root-zone of putting greens become coated with what Dr Karcher describes as a « wax-like » organic substance, and those sands become HYDROPHOBIC over time.


A common issue, DRY SPOTS can appear on any putting greens that is prone to WETTING AND DRYING CYCLES.


LOCALIZED DRY SPOTS on putting greens are easy to detect in the summer because those putting greens are QUICKLY DRYING OUT, Dr Karcher says.


Although DRY SPOTS aren’t as evident in the fall, they are still there.


According to Dr Karcher 


I would encourage a superintendent to go ahead and treat with a wetting agent through the fall just to make sure that their entire root-zone is holding water because roots will NOT grow well anywhere that is deficient in water.


By just continuing with a good WETTING AGENT PROGRAM into the fall, they will maximize their fall root growth.


WETTING AGENTS can benefit superintendents through the winter.


Preliminary data indicate early winter applications help reduce WINTER DESICCATION injury on ultra-dwarf Bermudagrass putting greens, Dr Karcher says.


The author Patrick Williams is a Cleveland-based writer and frequent GCI contributor.




















Preparing Golf Course

Turfgrasses For Winter



 Frost Delays





October 19th, 2016


Golf Course Industry ( GCI )


Sponsored By PBI Gordon


Selected And Adapted Excerpts





It is inevitable as fall arrives there will be FROST and with FROST comes the dreaded FROST delay [ on the golf course ].


We are all aware of the science associated with FROST on turf.


The turfgrass plant is mostly water, and FROST is simply frozen dew that has crystalized on the leaf blade of the turf.


While the turf is in this state, any traffic will likely crush the frozen cell wall and cause damage to the plant. 


We have all seen the DARK FOOTPRINTS appear after someone ignored the « Frost Warning / Putting Greens Closed » signs.


It is also common sense that putting greens, because of their value and their tendency, to hold FROST ( before other turf with higher heights of cut ) that they are often the CENTER OF A FROST MANAGEMENT PROGRAM.


I managed cool season putting greens in the transition zone for 30 years and every fall we had to retrain everyone about the subtle nuances of managing FROST delays.


Here are a few strategies to help you transition gracefully into your fall role as protector of the turf and the official unpopular starter on FROST days 


   Communicate the reasons for and procedures connected to your FROST MANAGEMENT PROGRAM consistently throughout the operation.  Use a variety of methods but make sure the verbiage and message is consistent.  This includes everything from signage, e-mail blasts, tee sheet notes, web sites and any social media such as Twitter, Facebook etc …  FYI, this should start about two weeks before the average first FROST date in your area.


   There can be only one.  The most senior person on duty from the golf course maintenance staff should be the SOLE AUTHORITY on when the FROST delay is over.  This will eliminate confusion about just what is the temperature and how can FROST still be there when the wind is blowing thirty miles an hour.  One expert, his call and NO exceptions.  FYI, NEVER commit to a start time unless you want to bet your job on it.


   Use a combination of rerouting ( avoiding putting greens that are shaded and thus will be the last putting greens that the FROST will clear ) and temporary putting greens ( be sure these are located away from the FROST covered putting greens ) to accommodate the golfers as soon as possible.  On days where HEAVY FROST is forecasted plan a late morning shotgun start.


   Staff accordingly to move quickly through the golf course set up procedures as golfers will expect the instant the FROST lifts they can begin play.  The reality is that you must be sure the danger of FROST DAMAGE has passed before you can begin the golf course set up for the day.  We have all seen a light FROST lift only to resettle as the sun crests the horizon.


Managing FROST DELAYS is one of the most critical things a superintendent does in the Fall.


Make sure the golfer sees and understands that you want him to play as much ( or more ) as he wants to play and you are simply PROTECTING THE Golf course and its putting greens assets and you need their cooperation.




















Preparing Golf Course

Turfgrasses For Winter



 Is Coming





October 18th, 2016


Golf Course Industry ( GCI )


Sponsored By PBI Gordon


Selected And Adapted Excerpts





Winter Is Coming





Industry experts reveal the most effective methods for PROTECTING putting greens FROM HARSH CONDITIONS.


A harsh winter forecast weakened when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration took down their La Niña watch in September 2016.


Although California superintendents felt let down when El Niño failed to haul in the water needed to normalize operations in 2015-16, those in the North might be relieved to hear that THIS WINTER COULD BE MILDER THAN PREVIOUSLY EXPECTED.


When it comes to WINTERIZING PUTTING GREENS, the forecast for a regular winter means the ability to adhere to established practices while taking some new risks.


Talk surrounding the benefits of an AGGRESSIVE FALL TOPDRESSING PROGRAM dates back years, but is augmented by continuing research. 


Meanwhile, industry experts weigh in on the pros and cons of affordable COVERS and the ever-growing popularity of PIGMENTS.







Winter Is Coming





The winter of 2013-2014 saw particularly SEVERE WINTER-KILL on Annual Bluegrass putting greens across the Midwest and into the Northeast.  At the time, Dr Edward J Nangle, assistant professor at the Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute, was working as director of turfgrass programs for the Chicago District Golf Association.


Dr Nangle suspected the issues were brought on by ICE ENCASEMENT as well as DIRECT TEMPERATURE KILL and CROWN HYDRATION.


According Dr Nangle 


I think we saw soil temperatures into the low 40s even in that mid-January time period in Chicago.


It seemed like the Annual Bluegrass started to get active as well.


So my perception is that we also had some CROWN HYDRATION going on, which then caused DIRECT KILL of the Annual Bluegrass as well.


A 2014 sampling of turf plugs at Michigan State University’s Hancock Turfgrass Research Center prompted estimates that  



Annual Bluegrass Can Survive

Under Ice Between 45 And

90 Days, While Creeping

Bentgrass Can Survive Under

Ice Between 90 And 120 Days



A Chicago District Golf Association survey of superintendents in the district revealed methods they took in the winter of 2013-2014    one of the area’s worst on record    to battle damage, Dr Nangle says.


Those who used PERMEABLE COVERS saw mixed results.


Many of the superintendents who had negative experiences were UNABLE TO PREVENT EVENTUAL SNOW MELT FROM GETTING UNDER THE COVERS.


Superintendents who COVER DURING THE WINTER will be best off by WATER-PROOFING their putting greens through processes such as BURYING THE COVERS around the putting greens edges, Dr Nangle says.



Superintendents Who Use

Impermeable Covers Should

Also Pull The Covers Off As

Temperatures Once Again

Hit 40 To 50 Degrees



Roughly every seven to 10 years, the crew at North Shore Country Club in Glenview, Illinois, has to deal with direct winterkill, CROWN HYDRATION or ICE ENCASEMENT, says superintendent Mr Dan Dinelli.


Crew members lay down the woven PERMEABLE COVERS after the golf course’s Annual Bluegrass putting greens have HARDENED and SOILS START TO FREEZE, and remove them when SOILS BEGIN TO THAW.


Depending on size, one cover costs roughly $1,200, prior to labor costs.


According to Mr Dinelli 


I like to deep-tine [ soil aeration ] the greens just before covering going into winter with OPEN HOLES, which is nice to HELP DRAIN WATER away from crowns, and the COVER PREVENTS THE THREAT OF [ WINTER ] DESICCATION.


According to Dr Kevin W Frank 



Permeable Covers Help

Re-Establish Putting

Greens In The Spring



Dr Kevin W Frank is associate professor and extension turfgrass specialist in Michigan State University’s Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences.


If available, PERMEABLE COVERS should be used to protect putting greens from low temperatures and WINTER DESICCATION.


However, they do NOT always prevent damage from EXCESSIVE ICE COVER.


IMPERMEABLE COVERS, on the other hand, PROTECT PUTTING GREENS FROM ICE COVER, but need to be applied tightly so water does NOT get underneath them, Dr Frank says.


Applying COVERS often takes three to four days, but laying down IMPERMEABLE COVERS could take longer than PERMEABLE COVERS because it takes time to lay down staples to prevent water from running underneath them.


If a superintendent decides to VENT, it also takes additional time to lay down tubes.


According Dr Frank 


COVERS are certainly NOT fool-proof, but some [ golf ] clubs are using IMPERMEABLE COVERS and VENTING them throughout the winter to protect their Annual Bluegrass greens.


Although I don’t have a large sample size in Michigan, these appear to be successful.








Winter Is Coming





Plant crowns are expected to lose some moisture in the winter.


But wind and dryness in areas such as the Great Plains can push the crown moisture of Creeping Bentgrass putting greens below its optimal range, says Dr Kreuser.


Dr Bill Kreuser is assistant professor and extension turfgrass specialist in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Department of Agronomy and Horticulture.


According to Dr Kreuser 


If it’s a hot and sunny winter where it’s just windy and dries out some more, like a desert, then it can get below 50 per cent.


When it starts to get to 40 and 30 per cent, then it starts to DIE OFF at a lot higher temperature than it would if it was at that ideal peak crown moisture.


Researchers consistently ward off WINTER DESICCATION with aggressive FALL TOPDRESSING applications, Dr Kreuser says.


In addition to TOPDRESSING’s numerous BENEFITS, such as increasing firmness and reducing disease pressure, TOPDRESSING in desiccation-prone areas insulates and stabilizes the moisture of turf and prevents moisture from getting lost to the environment.


Costs associated with AGGRESSIVE FALL TOPDRESSING depend on location and sand type.


In Nebraska, sands are relatively inexpensive.


Superintendents should match their TOPDRESSING sand with the sand in their root zone to avoid layering issues.


Application rates depend on superintendents’ TOPDRESSING programs for the rest of the year.


Dr Kreuser says 



Topdressing All Year-Round Is

The Best Way To Prevent Winter

Desiccation, So You Might Not

Think About It In July, But That

July Topdressing Is Helping To

Keep The Crown Buried



Superintendents should cut into their putting greens with a knife and look for sand on top of the crown. 


According to Dr Kreuser  


You’re talking about hundredths-of-an-inch of sand.


It doesn’t have to be a ton, but you just want to keep sure that crown is protected from the changing weather conditions.


Fall is also a good time for superintendents to TOPDRESS because player rounds are down and they can put down more sand, Dr Kreuser says.


According to Dr Kreuser  


If you’re going to do it heavy in the season, even just wait until the golf season is really shut down and then go out with an application.


Superintendents can also benefit from applying ADDITIONAL TOPDRESSING to greens on top of hills that are exposed and SUSCEPTIBLE TO [ WINTER ] DESICCATION.


Public golf course managers that stay open on warm winter days could be causing harm to themselves, Dr Kreuser says.


Extra tee times are NOT worth traffic on putting greens that often EXACERBATE WINTER DESICCATION PRESSURE and, potentially, entire spring revenues


According to Dr Kreuser  


A lot of prairie golf courses out here where carts have to get funneled in or people walk off the same parts of the putting greens    that’s where we see the worst of our damage with the [ WINTER ] DESICCATION usually, or one of the areas that can be pretty prone to it.


Another issue presents itself for those superintendents who apply an eighth-of-an-inch of sand in November.


What Dr Kreuser calls such a heavy « cake layer » buries the thatch underneath it, and could either blow off of the turf or damage it.








Winter Is Coming


Pigments ( Colorants )



Superintendents across the United States use PIGMENTS    also known as COLORANTS, PAINTS, AND DYES    year-round.


According to Mr Van Dyke 



In The North, Pigments Can

Be Applied In The Late Fall To

Help Boost Plant Health Coming

Out Of Winter As Turf Recovers

From Damage In The Spring


They Warm The Canopy By

Absorbing More Light Because

They’re Dark, Which May Help

The Plant Grow Quicker  ―

Because Coming Out Of Winter

Dormancy, Soils Are Cold



Mr Adam Van Dyke is owner and chief scientist of Professional Turfgrass Solutions.


A former superintendent at Mount Ogden Golf course in Ogden, Utah, and research technician at Utah State University, Mr Van Dyke has conducted numerous field trials with PIGMENTS.


Where Mr Van Dyke is located in the Intermountain West    a roughly 5,000 to 7,000-foot elevation    superintendents APPLY FUNGICIDES MIXED WITH PIGMENTS TO FIGHT SNOW MOLD DISEASES.


According to Mr Van Dyke 


In my opinion, and in my work, specifically with SNOW MOLD DISEASES, there has always been a benefit to using a PIGMENT on golf turf.


Pigments don’t influence disease control, but you generally get better spring green-up and recovery when you use a PIGMENT with a fungicide versus just the fungicide by itself.


In September, Mr Van Dyke and Dr Nangle instructed a Golf course Superintendents Association of America ( GCSAA ) webinar about SNOW MOLD DISEASES sponsored by CIVITAS manufacturer Intelligro.


Dr Edward J Nangle is assistant professor at the Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute.


The instructors conducted a small poll of roughly 40 superintendents, which revealed about 70 per cent of them use a PIGMENT.


In his field trials in Utah, Mr Van Dyke has NEVER SEEN LABEL RATES OF PIGMENTS INJURE TURF, and he has found results improve with higher rates.


PIGMENTS can range in price from less than $20 to more than $100 per acre, and CAN BE BENEFICIAL IN A VARIETY OF WINTERIZING SITUATIONS.


They will NOT directly prevent WINTER DESICCATION injury to turf, but if the DESICCATION period is short, and the plant doesn’t die, any PIGMENT remaining on the leaf could have INDIRECT BENEFITS OF IMPROVED RECOVERY.


The author Patrick Williams is a Cleveland-based writer and frequent GCI contributor.




















Preparing Golf Course

Turfgrasses For Winter



 A Layer





October 29th, 2016


Golf Course Industry ( GCI )


Sponsored By PBI Gordon


Selected And Adapted Excerpts





Superintendents’ concerns for turf health intensify with the approach of winter.


Chief among those is protecting their putting greens.


In northern locales, where many golf facilities close for the winter, some superintendents COVER THEIR PUTTING GREENS WITH SAND OR STRAW.


But others will use PLASTIC or some similar material to provide, literally, AN ADDITIONAL LAYER OF PROTECTION AGAINST SNOW OR ICE DAMAGE.


Mr Jeff Johnson, the superintendent at the Minikahda Golf Club in Minneapolis, COVERS his putting greens with a product developed by GreensJacket in Genoa City, Wisconsin.


Essentially, it’s a sheet of PLASTIC ( the company refers to it as an IMPERMEABLE COVER ) cut to fit each putting greens.


Mr Johnson also utilizes WatchDog data loggers to track what was going on under the plastic.


According to Mr Johnson 


If we had an anomaly and turf died, I could maybe look back at those records.


If we had a January or February thaw and the air temperature reached 50 or 60 degrees 


What happened under that cover, there was NO way of knowing.


About a decade ago, GreensJacket introduced an additional component; a LAYER OF FOAM one-eighth-of-an-inch thick to provide an additional layer of protection, an approach favored by some Canadian superintendents, for obvious reasons.  [ ?!?! ] 


The full GreensJacket system includes NOT only the COVERS and INSULATION, but the company also recommends using a series of sensors at each putting greens site that measure soil temperature and CO2 levels.


The system also includes VENTILATION TUBES that allow fresh air to circulate over the putting greens if CO2 levels get too high, which happens about once a week in some parts of Canada.


Today, Johnson protects 19 of his 21 putting greens with a COVER.


Two of his practice putting greens are comprised of Creeping Bentgrass and are NOT covered.


There are a number of artificial COVERS on the market, as well.


Each has its own advantages and disadvantages and the turf conditions at a particular facility may dictate what is appropriate or practical.








Background Information


For The Whole Truth About COVERS, Please Go To The Following Link 























Preparing Golf Course Turfgrasses For Winter


Late Fall







March 13th, 2013


William H Gathercole And Norah G





Late Fall Nitrogen Fertilization


The History Of LATE-FALL Nitrogen Fertilization



In the 1980s, educators like Dr Anthony J Koski, of Colorado State University, and Dr Wayne R Kussow, of the University of Wisconsin, helped re-shape and modernize our understanding of LATE-FALL NITROGEN FERTILIZATION.


More specifically, in 1988, Dr Koski, then working at The Ohio State University, wrote one of the definitive articles that helped modernize our knowledge regarding LATE-FALL NITROGEN FERTILIZATION for those regions subject to cold winter conditions.


 For golf courses, sod farms, municipalities, and lawn care companies, he claimed that the MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR regarding FALL NITROGEN USE was TIMING.




Late Fall Nitrogen Fertilization


The Definition Of LATE-FALL Nitrogen Fertilization



Here is an overview of the scientific literature of the time …


LATE-FALL FERTILIZATION was a concept that flew in the face of so-called common sense, at a time when many « experts » were saying, erroneously, that such a practice would reduce turfgrass resistance to cold temperature injury.


Today, we recognize that such fears were almost totally ridiculous.




Nevertheless, the turf manager must be reminded that he role of NITROGEN in turfgrass maintenance is important THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE GROWING SEASON, including the fall months.


For those turf managers that are concerned that LATE-FALL NITROGEN FERTILIZATION may « awaken » turf during the fall months, we urge them to bear in mind that lowered light and diminishing temperatures are the true environmental « cues » that signal all plants that it is time to prepare for winter dormancy.


It is a mistake to believe that nitrogen applications will so easily « over-ride » the effects of these « cues ».



Late-Fall Nitrogen Fertilization

Will NOT « Awaken » Turf


Nor Will It Increase

Turf Susceptibility To

Cold Temperatures


In Fact, Late-Fall Nitrogen

Fertilization Will Potentially

Decrease Turf Susceptibility

To Cold Temperatures



However, this type of fertilization may be injurious to turf that is « sensitive » to application.  ( See later segment for more details. )




Late Fall Nitrogen Fertilization


The Benefits Of LATE-FALL Nitrogen Fertilization



When NITROGEN is applied as LATE-FALL NITROGEN FERTILIZATION, a large portion of the plant’s carbohydrates will be placed into storage.


This is good for the plant’s resistance to cold temperatures.




When NITROGEN is applied as LATE-FALL NITROGEN FERTILIZATION, the first application of SPRING NITROGEN can be DELAYED for at least TWO TO FOUR WEEKS.



Additionally, With Late-Fall

Nitrogen Fertilization, Root

Development Will Be

Favoured, And Shoot

Growth Will Be Reduced



Nursery sod growers that employ LATE-FALL NITROGEN FERTILIZATION have reported that turf is much more heavily « knitted » for spring harvest.


Moreover, in some cases, the harvester has actually been forced to slow down slightly because of the denser root mass.




Late Fall Nitrogen Fertilization


The Implementation Of LATE-FALL Nitrogen Fertilization



The most important factor regarding LATE-FALL NITROGEN FERTILIZATION is TIMING.


This type of fertilizer application must be performed when ALL SHOOT GROWTH HAS STOPPED.



When Average Autumn

Temperatures Range From

7 To 10 Degrees Centigrade

( 45 To 50 Degrees Fahrenheit )

For A Period Of Three To

Five Consecutive Days,

Shoot Growth Will Stop


This Is The Time To Apply

Fertilizer For Optimum Late

Fall Nitrogen Fertilization



For example, in Eastern Canada, this time period is likely to occur between LATE OCTOBER and MID-NOVEMBER.




Late Fall Nitrogen Fertilization


The Rates Used For LATE-FALL Nitrogen Fertilization



For municipalities and lawn care companies, LATE-FALL NITROGEN FERTILIZATION may be defined as 1.25 to 1.75 pounds of NITROGEN per one thousand square feet in a single application within the time period of LATE OCTOBER AND MID-NOVEMBER.


These rates must NOT be used on turf that is « sensitive » to application. ( See later for more details. )






Late Fall Nitrogen Fertilization


The Definition And Benefits Of DORMANT Nitrogen Fertilization



AFTER the optimal time period for LATE-FALL FERTILIZATION ( after mid-November ), NITROGEN is merely applied to turf that is in a DORMANT STATE.


At this time, there can NO longer be sufficient root uptake of NITROGEN to provide the benefits of LATE-FALL FERTILIZATION.


Obviously, once the ground is frozen, there will be NO uptake of ANY nutrients.



Nitrogen Applied After Mid-

November Is Called Dormant

Nitrogen Fertilization



At this time, there will be NO further uptake of NITROGEN, and NO significant storage of carbohydrates.


The fertilizer will simply remain on the surface of the soil, and will essentially become available during the following spring, once the snow has thawed and temperatures begin climbing.


This may be good for a quicker spring green-up or faster recovery from foliar winter damage.



It Is NOT Likely That Dormant

Nitrogen Fertilization Will

Improve The Plant’s Resistance

To Cold Temperatures




Late Fall Nitrogen Fertilization


The Disadvantages Of DORMANT Nitrogen Fertilization



This type of NITROGEN FERTILIZATION may potentially reduce root development, in a fashion similar to the effects of excessive spring fertilization.


Nonetheless, it should be pointed that some studies have indicated that DORMANT FERTILIZATION on golf course turf with Milorganite, an organic slow-release source of NITROGEN, may actually improve root growth.


When NITROGEN is applied to DORMANT TURF, the first application of SPRING NITROGEN can be delayed for at least TWO TO FOUR WEEKS.




Late Fall Nitrogen Fertilization


The Program That Will Optimize LATE-FALL Nitrogen Fertilization



In order for LATE-FALL or DORMANT NITROGEN FERTILIZATION to work optimally, turf must be previously maintained with a BALANCED fertilizer program.


Again, this applies to both LATE-FALL, and DORMANT fertilization programs


When NITROGEN is supplied in MODERATE quantities EARLY IN THE FALL ( i.e. LATE AUGUST to LATE SEPTEMBER in Eastern Canada ), turf will remain putting greens throughout the fall.


This is a good indicator for the plant’s resistance to cold temperatures.



Green Turf Is A Sign Of Health,

Even During Autumn Months


Green Turf Is NOT Normally An

Indicator For An Impending

Cold Temperature Calamity



Many « experts » have claimed, erroneously, that putting greens turf in the fall is an indicator that turfgrass will have diminished resistance to cold temperature injury.


Today, we recognize that such fears were almost totally ridiculous.


For municipalities and lawn care companies, MODERATE EARLY FALL NITROGEN FERTILIZATION may be defined as 1.00 to 1.25 pounds of NITROGEN per one thousand square feet in a single application between LATE AUGUST and LATE SEPTEMBER.


These rates must NOT be used on turf that is « sensitive » to application. ( See later for more details. )


On golf course putting greens, MODERATE EARLY FALL FERTILIZATION may be defined as 0.5 pound of NITROGEN per one thousand square feet applied EVERY TWO WEEKS.


It should be noted that one application of SOME very high-quality slowly-available fertilizer ( i.e. long-chain methylene ureas ) may provide ADEQUATE NITROGEN for a period of four to six weeks.


Hence, only a single application may be required in the early fall.


( It should be noted that soluble sources of NITROGEN are exhausted from the soil within two weeks. )


A BALANCED fertilizer is recommended at any time during the fall, based upon, of golf course, SOIL TESTS and previous experience.




Late Fall Nitrogen Fertilization


The Definition And Benefits Of WINTERIZER Fertilizers



The so-called « winterizer » fertilizers, which is extremely high in POTASSIUM, are of DUBIOUS VALUE.  


For example, a 1-to-4 ratio of NITROGEN-TO-POTASSIUM.


Fertilization that is excessively high in POTASSIUM, but very low in NITROGEN, will NOT likely serve the better interests of turf.


However, we should all keep in mind that many research reports have indicated that a 1-to-2 ratio of NITROGEN-TO-POTASSIUM can provide OPTIMAL COLD TEMPERATURE RESISTANCE.


This is NOT necessarily an extremely high use of POTASSIUM.




Late Fall Nitrogen Fertilization


The Definition Of SENSITIVE Turfgrass Conditions



We should all bear in mind that normal fertilization programs performed in early fall, LATE-FALL, and DORMANT, may NOT be appropriate for turf that is deemed « sensitive » to high, or even moderate, NITROGEN, and even POTASSIUM, fertilization.


Turfgrasses growing in shade are naturally « sensitive » to NITROGEN, as well as turf that mowed very short ( i.e. putting greens ).


Some turfgrass species may be naturally sensitive to NITROGEN.


Examples of « sensitive » species include the bentgrasses, the fine-leaved fescues, and rough bluegrass.


Annual Bluegrass on home lawns can act as a « sensitive » grass.


All turfgrasses can become « sensitive » to NITROGEN when unseasonably dry conditions occur in the fall.


All such conditions will render turf « sensitive » to high or excessive NITROGEN, although problems do NOT frequently occur in EARLY FALL.


For municipalities and lawn care companies, MODERATE EARLY FALL NITROGEN FERTILIZATION ON SENSITIVE TURF may be defined as NO GREATER THAN 1.00 pound of NITROGEN per one thousand square feet in a single application BEFORE LATE SEPTEMBER.


You can only do so much for turf that is « sensitive ».




Late Fall Nitrogen Fertilization


Using Adequate Nitrogen Will Decrease Turf Susceptibility To Certain Diseases



The Incidence Of Certain

Diseases, Such As Dollar Spot

And Red Thread, Will Increase

With Low Nitrogen Fertilization





   Fusarium Patch ( Microdochium Patch, Pink Snow Mold )  


   Red Thread & Pink Patch  






Late Fall Nitrogen Fertilization


Using A Balanced Ratio For Fertilization Will Decrease Turf Susceptibility To Certain Diseases



Overall, The Use Of Adequate

Rates Of Nitrogen Will Not

Lead To Disease Problems



Using a fertilizer with a ratio of 3 : 1 : 2 ( NITROGEN : PHOSPHORUS : POTASSIUM ), WILL DECREASE TURF SUSCEPTIBILITY TO CERTAIN DISEASES, when compared with NITROGEN alone. 


Examples of fertilizers with a 3 : 1 : 2 ratio are 18-6-12 and 15-3-9. 


These types of fertilizers will tend to be used on golf course putting greens. 


At least 50 to 75 per cent slow-release nitrogen is suggested. 




Late Fall Nitrogen Fertilization


Using High POTASSIUM And High Phosphorus Will Decrease Turf Susceptibility To Certain Diseases



A High-Potassium ( With High-

Phosphorus ) Fertilizer Mixture

May Be Used To Suppress Microdochium

Patch ( Fusarium Patch ) Disease



This disease is common in many parts of the nation. 


It is recommended to use a fertilizer with a 3 : 5 : 5 ratio, and apply it during the fall months. 


The closest practical example of a fertilizer with this ratio is 15-20-21. 


This fertilizer is recommended for most types of turfgrasses. 


Since Fusarium Patch Disease is prevalent under cool and moist conditions; hence, at least 50 per cent slow-release nitrogen is recommended.




Late Fall Nitrogen Fertilization


Learning How To Use LATE-FALL Nitrogen Fertilization



For those turf managers that have NEVER tried this aspect of the fertilization program, it is suggested that you begin the « learning curve » by observing the results on turfgrass that is growing under good growing conditions.


For example, a Kentucky bluegrass lawn consisting of improved varieties located in an open, sunny, and well-drained area.


Again, avoid those conditions where turf may be « sensitive » to NITROGEN.



















Background Information


For The Whole Truth About SOIL SCIENCE, Please Go To The Following Links 























Background Information


TO LOOK AT The Whole Truth, Please Explore The Following Links 











































Take A LOOK AT Career Management, Golf Course Maintenance, Green Alternatives, Lawn Care Maintenance, Summer Stress, Tree & Shrub Maintenance, Turfgrass Pests, and Turfgrass Species


To take A LOOK AT these issues, you need facts !






Listen To    NORAHG





NORAHG is National Organization Responding Against HUJE that seek to harm the Green space and other industries.




NORAHG produces A LOOK AT, a series of reports providing TECHNICAL INFORMATION on issues such as Career Management, Golf Course Maintenance, Green Alternatives, Lawn Care Maintenance, Summer Stress, Tree & Shrub Maintenance, Turfgrass Pests, and Turfgrass Species.


A LOOK AT is destined for the green space industry, nation wide across Canada, the United States, and overseas.


A LOOK AT is committed to SOUND SCIENCE, as well as ground breaking original reporting that informs, entertains, and creates real change.


All information, excerpts, and pictures contained in A LOOK AT were retrieved from the Internet, and may be considered in the public domain. 


The information presented in A LOOK AT is for preliminary planning only. 


Before making a final decision, the turf manager is expected to obtain trusted expert advice from extension specialists, local distributors and/or agronomists. 


All decisions must take into account the prevailing growing conditions, the time of year, and the established management practices. 


All products mentioned in A LOOK AT should be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions, and according to provincial, state, or federal law. 


For the official advantages, benefits, features, precautions, and restrictions concerning any product, the turf manager must rely only on the information furnished by the manufacturer. 


The mention of trade names does not constitute a guarantee or a warranty.


NORAHG also produces FORCE OF NATURE, reports that present THE WHOLE TRUTH FROM AN INDEPENDENT PERSPECTIVE about environmental issues, including anti pesticide terrorism.


A LOOK AT, FORCE OF NATURE, and their various incarnations, was the brainchild of William H Gathercole (now retired) and his colleagues. 


Here is a brief summary of Mr Gathercole’s career 


Fields of study      Horticulture/Agriculture, Mathematics, Physics


Alma mater      McGill University      University of Guelph      the first person ever to obtain university degrees and contribute to both the professional lawn care and golf maintenance industries


Expertise in      turf and ornamental maintenance and troubleshooting      history of the industry      sales and distribution of seeds, chemicals, fertilizers, and equipment      fertilizer manufacturing and distribution      environmental issues and anti pesticide terrorism


Notable activities      worked in virtually all aspects of the green space industry, including golf, professional lawn care, tree & shrub care, distribution, environmental compliance, government negotiations, public affairs, and workplace safety      supervisor, consultant, and, programmer for the successful execution of hundreds of thousands of management operations in the golf and urban landscape, as well as millions of pest control applications       advisor, instructor, and trainer for thousands of turf and ornamental managers and technicians      pesticide certification instructor for thousands of industry workers      founder of the modern professional lawn care industry      prolific writer for industry publications and e-newsletters      first to confirm the invasion of European Chafer insect in both the Montreal region and the Vancouver / Fraser Valley region      with Dr Peter Dernoeden, confirmed the presence of Take All Patch as a disease of turf in Eastern Canada      with Dr David Shetlar, confirmed the presence of Kentucky Bluegrass Scale as an insect pest in South Western Ontario, and later, in the Montreal and Vancouver regions   


Special contributions      creator of the exception status that has allowed the golf industry to avoid being subjected to anti pesticide prohibition      creator of the signs that are now used for posting after application      co-founder of annual winter convention for Quebec golf course superintendents      the major influence in the decision by Canadian Cancer Society to stop selling for profit pesticide treated daffodils      the only true reliable witness of the events of anti pesticide prohibition in the town of Hudson, Quebec      retired founder of A LOOK AT and FORCE OF NATURE reports


Notable award      the very first man of the year for contributions leading to the successful founding of Quebec professional lawn care industry, which served as a beach-head against anti pesticide activists in the 1980s and 1990s


Legacy      Mr Gathercole and his colleagues      designed and implemented strategies that reined anti pesticide activists to provide peace and prosperity for the entire modern green space industry across Canada      orchestrated legal action against anti pesticide activists in the town of Hudson, Quebec      launched the largest founding professional lawn care business in Canada      quadrupled the business revenues of one of the largest suppliers in Canada


Mr Gathercole is now retired, although his name continues to appear as founder of A LOOK AT and FORCE OF NATURE reports.


For The Complete Library of reports from A LOOK AT, FORCE OF NATURE, NORAHG, PESTICIDE TRUTHS, and UNCLE ADOLPH, go to the following archives 






























This is what we do.  Don’t thank us.  It’s a public service.  And we are glad to do it.