Preparing Your Golf Course for Winter
Currently, the leaves are changing colors and falling in a good portion of our ATS regions. Cooler temperatures have arrived, and the days are getting shorter. A sure sign old man winter will be arriving soon. With this comes the closing of the 2023 golf season, and golf course superintendents will soon strategize and execute winter preparation plans for their golf courses. As these plans commence, the focus will be on fall fertilization, leaf cleanup, irrigation winterization, and making final snow mold applications, to name a few.
The days of golf course superintendents and ground staff members carrying hand-watering hoses in their carts are most likely switched out with blowers and other tools necessary to complete their winterization task lists. The days of chasing wilt and dragging hose during the dog days of summer will soon be a distant memory. This time is welcomed by many in this industry, as moisture management is such an intensely managed component in the daily maintenance of a golf course. After a long season of hand-watering, checking moisture readings, and applying wetting agents, it is easy to hang up the hoses and pack up the moisture meters and wetting agents as quickly as possible. A winter break from these tasks is very welcoming. But, before completely closing the door on these moisture management tools that are vital to golf course management, I suggest making one last wetting agent application on golf course putting greens just before irrigation system winterization.
A great product choice for this application would be HydroPak Percolate (@ 5 oz./1000 sq. ft.). HydroPak Percolate is an excellent product that will improve moisture penetration into and throughout a root zone while maintaining a soil volumetric content that is conducive to healthy turf. As we all know, from year to year, old man winter can show up late or early, harsh or weak, long or short, wet or dry. Making a late-season wetting agent application to putting green surfaces provides some insurance that they will be able to handle what old man winter throws at them. As microbial activity slows and settles towards a quiescent state this time of the year, these types of applications will last throughout the winter and into spring. Depending on the weather patterns thrown your way, from a rainy early winter to a mid-winter thaw to a dry spring, a late-season wetting agent application will help move water off the surface and keep the profile charged. Ultimately, the application will ensure the return of a putting surface ready for the start of another spring golf season after a long winter’s rest.
In the coming weeks, as you begin the processes of preparing your golf courses for winter in your regions, keep winter moisture management on your mind and consider making a late-season wetting agent application to your putting surfaces. As always, please do not hesitate to contact your Advanced Turf Solutions Sales Representatives with questions or concerns. We wish everyone good luck as we close out another successful golf season and prepare for a successful 2024 season!