Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Sprigging Tees, Fairways & Greens

We are in the final stages of renovation on the Lakes course!  

Sprigging is a labor-intense process, one that begins with cutting and transporting the delicate sprigs to get them in the ground and ‘seeded’ for cultivation, then grown in while the summer heat is in full force.  Supplied by King Ranch Turfgrass, all putting surfaces are sprigged with TifEagle, while fairways and tees use Tifway 419.  Challenges have been brought on by wet conditions this summer including the outer bands of Hurricane Barry causing a delay in the harvest of our sprigs during the second week of July, for healthy turf, sprigs must be cut dry then refrigerated for transport.  Weather delays are part of the budgeted timeline, but 2019 proved to be a special challenge with summer storms and heavy rains.

Sprigging is the planting of sprigs, plant sections cut from rhizomes or stolons that includes crowns and roots, at spaced intervals in furrows or holes.[1] Depending on the environment, this may be done by hand or with mechanical row planters.[1][2] Sprigging uses no soil with the plant and is an alternative to seeding (planting seeds directly), plugging (transplanting plugs with intact soil and roots), and sodding (installing harvested sheets of sod).[2]

Stolonizing is essentially broadcast sprigging, using cut stolons and rhizomes spread uniformly over an area mechanically or by hand, then covered with soil or pressed into the planting bed by various means.[2][3]

Wikipedia contributors. (2019, June 1). Sprigging. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 18:14, July 18, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sprigging&oldid=899771359

Sprigs are transported in burlap sacks, carried to greens then opened up for distribution.  It is not as simple as throwing out seed; with sprigs, it is imperative to maintain proper coverage for consistent and effective grow-in. 

Once the sprigs are spread they get pressed in with special equipment, then watered…HEAVILY!  (VIEW HERE)  The typical watering schedule for newly sprigged Bermuda varies but for this project we employ a 5-10 minute cycle on the hour every hour as monitored by staff to keep fragile new sprigs intact.  With no root system established the reason for heavy watering is to get the plants to root in until there is noticeable plant growth.

Sodding Surrounds

The surrounds of all green and tee complexes are solid sodded where necessary.   Machines layout the sod rolls with assistance from the crew, and then they help fit the pieces together and get seams tight for optimal coverage.

Sodding surrounds #LakesCourseRenovation from Indian Creek GC on Vimeo.
This machine drops sprigs and presses them in. This can be done in areas where coverage and terrain are more adaptable and can handle larger equipment.

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