Spring Pre-Emergent: Q&A with GCSAA Superintendent Kenny Baker
Q: Why do you paint
the course green?
A: It’s actually blue dye that tints our application of pre- emergent, not green paint or coloring!
A view through the trees from the Creek course’s #1 tee box to the Lakes course #1 fairway shows the blue dye that tints the spring pre-emergent application, this allows staff to apply evenly and know when an area has been treated. The blue dye and dormant turf color make for a greenish tint!
Q: So why not treat the courses at the same time?
A: Ideally we would, but our event schedule sometimes dictates the timing of maintenance practices. Due to a women’s collegiate event this weekend we postponed the application to offer these elite players ‘typical’ course views. Timing is always a factor...high wind or forecasted rain affect spraying practices as well, so we work around what Mother Nature brings too!
A view of the Creek course Hole #1 shows the look of untreated dormant turf areas
Q: What are the primary targets of the pre-emergent application?
A: Poa Annua and Crabgrass are the most invasive, pervasive and frankly ugly weeds. These weeds interrupt clean playing conditions and don't allow for proper lies on and around greens and in fairways.
Q: What is the expense of the spring pre-emergent application for both courses?
A: Not cheap! Approximately $15,000 just for the chemical. But most golfers do not tolerate weeds in playing areas, so it is necessary. Mow heights of playing areas are affected if weeds are left to propagate as weeds grow at different rates than turf grass. In addition, we want to keep healthy turf healthy so it doesn’t need the competition for nutrients from invasive weeds!
Q: Why are you only treating the dormant areas?
A: Timing is to allow chemicals to get weeds before they germinate. This application is non selective in addition to preventative and therefore only used for dormant areas. We only want to prevent weeds from popping, obviously we need the grass to come back!