Preparing Your Putting Greens for Winter
When I was a golf course superintendent, one of my favorite practices of the year was preparing our putting surfaces for the winter season. You may guess that was because it finally meant the end of another long season. Don’t get me wrong—that definitely was a bonus. However, the challenge and importance of winter preparation practices always intrigued me. Strategizing and executing winter preparation plans was rewarding, and there was a sense of accomplishment knowing that your turf was prepared to properly handle a long winter.
The goal was always the same: to have turf as healthy as possible and properly hardened off to handle Old Man Winter—and ultimately, set yourself up for a successful spring. Once shoot growth slowed on our putting surfaces, we always concentrated on building carbohydrate reserves and strengthening the plant. We accomplished this over the weeks leading up to the race against Mother Nature to put our putting surfaces to bed. This final push or race consisted of final cleanings and cuts, applying snow mold treatments, and topdressing before winter set in.
Many of our ATS regions are currently not far off from that race or final push just around the corner. Daylight hours are decreasing, and turf areas will begin to naturally harden off soon. During these transition times, I like to recommend two applications, a couple of weeks apart, of a Foliar-Pak fall foliar application on your putting surfaces to get them ready for a long winter’s rest. This foliar application combination consists of:
- FoliarPak Foundation Forty @ 1oz/1,000ft2
- FoliarPak 1-0-15 @ 3oz/1,000ft2
- FoliarPak Amperage @ 3oz/1,000ft2
- FoliarPak Calcium @ 2oz/1,000ft2
With this combination, you’re gaining plant energy, building proteins, providing carbohydrates, improving carbohydrate storage, and strengthening the plant. Ultimately, this combination feeds the putting surface with what the plant needs to properly harden off and handle the upcoming winter temperature swings and stresses that it will soon experience.
In a few weeks, winter preparation plans will be in full swing throughout many regions as golf course superintendents prepare for the race to put their golf courses to bed. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your Advanced Turf Solutions sales representatives with questions or concerns as you prepare to execute your plans. We wish everyone good luck as we close out another successful golf season and prepare for a successful 2022 season!