Spring is approaching, and it couldn’t come soon enough. After starting the month with temperatures as low as 8 degrees, the days are starting to feel closer to average temperatures again. We were prepared for cold weather as we had installed both sets of covers on the greens. I know it causes a disruption with playing this great course, but it made a huge difference and protected the greens very well. Now we are starting to see soil temperatures rise and soon everything will start blooming.
While temperatures are starting to trend up and the days are getting warmer, we will still have to be diligent about covering. Even through the cold temperatures we just experienced, the covers have helped, and the plant is beginning to green up in the lower stems and crowns. When the Bermuda greens start greening up on top more and more, it is vital we protect them from a late spring freeze or hard frost. This means if the forecast is trending colder for a couple days with lows at 30 degrees or below, we would need to cover the greens to protect them. This is different from winter covering, due to the plants starting to break dormancy and more live tissue is coming up on top versus in winter, when you have a layer of dormant turf that provides some protection, especially from frost. With growing leaf blades on top, a freeze can do significant damage. At freezing and below freezing temperatures, the cells inside the leaf blade could freeze and rupture causing a big delay in complete green up and significant damage to the plant. With the plants still being young, we want to do anything and everything to assure a great playing surface for the summer. While I would absolutely love to say we are done covering and can put them away in storage, I can’t. It’s better to be safe than sorry. We will do everything we can to protect them. Hopefully weather will be good to us and we can keep the greens uncovered so everyone can enjoy playing the course. I thank everybody for their patience and I hope this helps with understanding why we do some of the things we do at different times of the year.
Kyle Soller, Scotsdale Golf Maintenance Superintendent