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.
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.