Saturday, September 12, 2015

Cowan Creek Overseed Overview

Submitted by: Craig Loving, Cowan Creek Golf Club Superintendent

 ​Beginning on Monday, September 14th, we will begin the overseeding process at Cowan Creek.  This year in addition to the blue, green, and red tees, we will be overseeding the fairways, and collars and approaches.  The overseeding of the fairways and approaches will have multiple positive impacts on the conditions of the turf and subsurface.  Over the past month, the dead areas from the water line break have gradually gotten smaller and smaller, but there are some areas that won’t be completely healed by the end of the growing season.  By overseeding these areas, the healthy cool season turf (perennial ryegrass) will create a buffer from foot and cart traffic as the bermudagrass goes dormant.  As we enter spring transition next year, the bermudagrass and ryegrass will compete in accordance to air and soil temperatures, so the overseed transition should be gradual.  Another benefit of the overseeding is the buildup of organic matter in the soil, which will help with nutrient and water retention in the long term. 

The following paragraphs and bullet points will detail what the current plans are for the overseeding process, as well as what we hope to achieve and when we hope to achieve it.

• Monday-Tuesday (September 14-15th):  begin prep of overseeded areas
Fairways:  verticut @ 1/16th inches, mow @ .500”, buffalo blow debris off of fairways, paint fairway perimeters
Tees ( all blue, green, red, all par 3, all #14):  verticut @ 1/16tinches, mow @ .500” with tee walk mowers (with buckets), buffalo blow debris off of fairways, paint perimeters
Collars & Approaches:  verticut @ 1/16th inches,  mow at .500” with triplex approach mowers (with buckets), buffalo blow debris off of collars and approaches, paint perimeters
• Tuesday-Wednesday (September 15th-16th): Overseed
Fairways:  Seed rate – 12 lbs. /1000 sq. ft (~522 lbs. / Acre) Perennial ryegrass
▪ Overseed perimeters with pull-behind drop spreader; 2 passes
▪ Overseed interior with Lely broadcast spreader
Collars & Approaches:  Seed rate – 12 lbs. / 1000 sq. ft (~522 lbs. / Acre) Per. rye
▪ Overseed collars and approach perimeter with walk behind drop spreader
▪ Overseed approaches with walk behind rotary broadcast spreader
Tees:  Seed rate – 12 lbs. /1000 sq. ft (~522 lbs. / Acre) Perennial rye/fescue mix
▪ Overseed perimeters and interior with walk behind drop spreader, two directions

The timeline may be altered one way or another by any issues that may occur, but the overseeding process should be complete by mid-late week.  Afterwards, we will set up irrigation cycles to keep the soil the correct moisture for seed establishment.  Depending on weather conditions, the first seed shoots should sprout within 8-10 days.  The overseed will be ready to mow somewhere around 14 days after overseeding.  This will be done in the afternoon when the grass is dry to keep the new grass from ripping from the roots.

A majority of our focus after overseeding will be moisture management, and we will fertilize with both granular bulk applications as well as foliar sprays.  There will more than likely be areas that need additional attention and re-applications of seed for proper establishment.  Our ultimate goal is to provide excellent playing conditions throughout the winter, as well as building organic matter in the soil for long-term improvement of the playing conditions in the fairways.  Although this may not completely alleviate the current issues with the weak areas come springtime, it should minimize the amount of sodding we will have to do next year.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Cowan Creek Closure for Overseeding

On Sept. 14th we will be shutting down Cowan Creek until Oct. 19th for overseeding of the fairways. After losing the main irrigation supply line due to a break located under Sun City Blvd. we were unable to water fairways for 11 days in July. This limited us to watering greens and tees only at both White Wing and Cowan Creek. Due to the sand base that Cowan Creek was built on it dried out much quicker than White Wing and the turf health suffered the most out of the two. We have been pushing the fairways with extra fertilizer and water in an effort to get the fairways to heal up but there are some areas that are going to take a lot more time.

Overseeding will provide a nice playing surface throughout the winter months and into the late spring. This will be beneficial to the fairways in the long term because it will allow us to start building up some organic matter in the soil. This will also help out with any future drought type situations. Overseeding will also allow us time to keep pushing the Bermuda grass through transition in the spring and early summer. That being said, with certain areas of the fairways being almost completely dead right now we will more than likely have areas during transition that will be thin or need to be re-sodded altogether.

In short, overseeding gives us the best playing conditions possible moving forward and it also gives us the best chance to push the Bermuda grass for re-establishment next year.
During the time frame that Cowan Creek is closed we will not have closed Mondays at the other two courses.