If you know what to look for when looking at turf grass, one can see deficiencies and apply necessary nutrients to improve the health of a plant. Often, a complete nutrient combination is applied to ensure certain elements are available. Not having 1 or 2 elements available for the plant can cause problems with the entire growth cycle! Like us, plants need food to survive and often many nutrients are in the soil but, may not be available or in the necessary form for the plant to use. This often gets very complicated and can puzzle the best managers. Soil samples are periodically taken to establish a good base line to work from such as, in the spring before the plants begin to grow is a good time to see what is going on. Nutrient programs can be adjusted to include only the nutrients that are needed for the turf and those that are in abundance that can be deleted from a program and monitored, thus saving money and not applying something that is not needed into the environment.
Another step that is often taken, is collecting tissue from a plant and having it tested. In our case, we take clippings from a green or two that have been collected from the mower and air dry them, we put them in a bag and ship it off to a lab. There, they test them and see what nutrients the plant is actually taking in and see what they are deficient in. Greens are sprayed almost every week with a nutrient mix and these can be further enhanced by having this information to help us decide on what nutrients are important to our greens and what we may have enough of already and can eliminate. Tissue tests will tell us what the plant is using and what it is not, even if you have applied something the plant may not take it in, because it’s not in a form the plant recognizes. Again, these tests help us look for the products that work best for us and each and every site is a little different, just like all diets for people are a little different. Little did you know we’re running a very large chemistry lab out here!
At Juliette Falls we are always trying to improve and use the resources available to us and not over apply something that may not be needed. We like to keep the course healthy but not overdo it. Firm and fast with good turf cover throughout in our bread and butter! The course continues to be in great shape and we strive to improve areas that may be struggling with some extra attention as our staff keeps a keen eye on things. Thank you to the many golfers coming out and playing what we feel is really a great course!