Do you ever notice how green everything looks after a lightning storm? Most people just think it’s from the abundance of rain fall associated with the storm and well, they aren’t wrong, the moisture defiantly helps green everything up. But there is actually a chemical reaction that takes place during a lightning storm that affects plants, grass included and if you ask most Superintendents they will all welcome a little lightening show before any major event. As a turf manager, we want to produce great playing conditions every day. We manage our fertilizer inputs so our greens have a smooth playing surface and do not have too much nitrogen with fat leaf blades and bumpy ball rolls. Ready for grade 9 science class? here’s where the “chemical reaction comes in. During a lightning strike, the bolt of lightning breaks the raw nitrogen bond in the earth’s atmosphere (which is about 78% nitrogen) the nitrogen then attached to oxygen to form a nitrate. Raw nitrogen cannot be taken up by the grass it must be in a nitrate form, this newly formed nitrate is brought to the earth’s surface usually by rainfall, then the leaf blade absorbs the nitrate and uses it to produce more chlorophyll which gives that beautiful green color we all love! Free fertilizer and great conditions from mother nature!
Speaking of lightning, the lightning storm on Canada Day knocked out the power and fried a component of our irrigation system. Now try getting a repair technician out on a Canada Day Long weekend! Not a chance. I was lucky enough to have the team at Pumptronics send a great fella out to me on July 5th to repair the issue and get us up and running again. The course held the 4 days of high 20’s-30 degree weather very well with only a few minor isolated dry spots on greens, tees and fairways that we are working to recover. Thank goodness the storm brought with it 22mm of rain with it, otherwise we may not have survived.
Out on the course you may have notice a few new additions over the last little while. We have gone out and installed 200yrd (blue) 150yrd (white) and 100yrd (red) distance markers in the middle of all the fairways. Keep in mind all distances are measured to the middle of all the greens. As well we have put out our new flags with our new logo and divot boxes on the par 3’s!! what do you think? its like Christmas in July to us! When using the divot boxes remember to completely fill the divot and smooth it out to ensure a more uniform tee box when it grows in. We also had a group of bird surveyors come out, as we do every year, to count species of birds on our property from 5am-2pm and this year they counted 63 different species of birds. The most intriguing to me is the Clarks Nutcracker. This bird is a vital species for our Limber pine trees, with its long hard beak it can break open the shells of the pine cones and spread the seeds around to help with gemination to new areas on the property.
The course is in great shape! The turfies are having a great time this season producing an awesome product for all our members and customers. Once this heat wave cools down we hope to start renovating a few tee boxes, apply our mid-summer fairway fertilizer application, continue our weed control program and continue to dial in our greens so you can continue to make those challenging birdie putts! Have a great time out on the course, please make sure you acknowledge with a wave before hitting a ball in the direction of any turfcare staff, repair your ball marks, enjoy our office for a few hours and take lots of photos.