7/10/20 - Golf Course Maintenance Update
With the arrival of the dangerously high temperatures I would like to remind everyone that there will be some wilting on the golf courses as the turf will go into its defense mode because of the extreme heat. The forecast for the next several days is for temperatures to exceed 115 degrees. Some forecasters think we may touch 120. There is not a plant on earth that thrives in those conditions. Arizona’s native plants shut down in the afternoons when extreme temperatures arrive. Cacti will fold slightly like an accordion and use their thorns to protect their skin. Grass does not have thorns to protect it so it heavily depends on moisture in the ground. Even though we water heavy in the evening the soil and grass lose moisture at an alarming rate once the temperatures exceed 100 degrees. This loss of moisture is called evapotranspiration. We call it ET for short. ET rates increase significantly when temperatures rise and humidity is low. On nights when it’s windy the water from the sprinklers will not hit their intended target very well and that creates issues when daytime temperatures are going to be hot. This forces us to hose syringe and put out portable sprinklers on what we call “hot spots”. Watering “hot spots” is a constant battle throughout the summer and is done at all golf courses regardless of their budget.
Attempting to grow lush green grass in the Arizona desert in the summer provides unique challenges that golf courses in other parts of the country do not have to deal with. Dealing with these extreme temperatures is one of them. In many parts of the country you will see lush green vegetation along highways and common areas. Not here. This time a year most un irrigated vegetation is no more than dry kindling. It is important to remember that course conditions this time of year will not be perfect at any golf course regardless of budgets or staff.
There are several varieties of Bermuda grass. Some are greener than others. Some require different maintenance practices than others. But I can assure you none of them thrive in these conditions.
I hope you found this information helpful. Please remember to drink lots of water, and give your plants a little extra water this week.