Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Nick Christians
May 28, 2013

What's next?  If you check the blog from the beginning of this month, you will find a major snow fall in Ames in May.  Now at the end of the month, we have flooding.  The first picture is from this morning on the 15th fairway at Veenker golf course on Iowa State Campus.  We have one of our major research projects for the year on this fairway and it is now under several feet of water.  Hopefully, we can salvage the research if the water goes down soon.

 Pumping off water from behind 16 tee.
 Here is the river running through Veenker at 8:00 this morning.  It went over it's banks last night.  The maintenance shop can be seen through the trees.  They have moved all of the equipment to higher ground.
 Another view of the river crossing in front of the 16th tee.
 This is the crew washing and sweeping soil and other flood related materials from the 16th fairway.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Nick Christians
May 22, 2013

Here is a power point on Kevin Hansen's Super Bowl Internship in 2013.  See posts from November 30 and January 21 for more detail.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

PoaCure trial at Green Bay Country Club

Nick Christians
May 14, 2013

Here are some pictures from Marc Davison, superintendent of Green Bay Country Club in Wisconsin.
It shows spring recovery on his 5th green following an application of PoaCure (Methiozolin) (the new material from Moghu in Korea).  I was applied in the fall at 0.6 oz/1000 sq ft in the fall to about 2000 sq ft area on the left side of the green.  The grass is Providence creeping bentgrass.

 The first picture is from April 27.  It shows the treated area on the left.

 April 30.  By April 30, what appeared to be dry spots in the bentgrass began to appear.  The soil was not dry under these spots.

 May 2

May 5.  the dry spots were still present on May 5.

The Moghu company has put out a press release acknowledging this problem on Providence bentgrass treated with PoaCure.  If anyone else has seen the dry spots on other cultivars, let me know.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Nick Christians
May 9, 2013

Here is an interesting post from Richard Jauron, the answer line person in Horticulture here at ISU.  If you have been following the blog, you know that Richard has been experimenting with Tenacity (Mesotrione) for the control of nimblewill in his lawn.  That experiment has been going on since 2011 and he has had good results and has nearly eliminated his nimblewill. 

Here is another observation from his work.  He has Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) in the beds at the edge of his lawn.  The nimblewill and the bluebells both spread by seed and they have been merging at the edge of the bed in recent years.  The bluebells flower in early spring and the foliage then dies back by the end of June.  He last spot treated with Tenacity in August after the foliage of the bluebells was gone.

The bluebells are just coming up this spring and are in full bloom.  Where he sprayed the tenacity, the bluebells are emerging with damaged, white leaves and stems.  This is the first report that I have seen indicating damage from Tenacity to this species.

 Here are the healthy Virginia bluebells on May 8, 2013.

Here are the bluebells in areas spot treated with Tenacity.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Nick Christians
May 7, 2013

I just received the Persian translation of my text book, Fundamentals of Turfgrass Management.  The translation was done by 3 professors in Isfahan University in Iran.  For those of you who speak Persian, this will be a great addition to your library.

Friday, May 3, 2013


Nick Christians
May 3, 2013

We received several more inches of snow overnight in Ames.  The heaviest snow I heard of was in Britt, in North Central Iowa, where they had 11 inches.  That was a new record for May.

The first picture is from Teresa Balsley at Veenker Golf course on ISU campus.

I took the next two pictures this morning on Indian Creek golf course behind my house in Nevada, Iowa.  The first one is the fourth tee and the second one is of the 3rd green.

I took this one from facebook.  It shows one of the guys at Coldwater Creek golf course in Ames who didn't let the snow stop his golf game.

Here is something I want you golf people to watch for.  The first picture is of the sclerotia (resting bodies) of Typhula incarnata, the fungi that causes Gray Snow Mold.

 The second one is a commercial shot of germinating sclerotia.  This is a very rare site.  I have only seen it once in Iowa.  It can occur right after a very early or very late snow on actively growing bentgrass greens.  They can also be dark colored and take on a 'fiddle head' appearance, like a fiddle head fern.  If anyone sees this as the snow melts, snap some pictures for me.

Here are two additional pictures that I just received from Derek Richards, assistant at Veenker golf course,  while I was posting this blog.  It shows the 18th hole on Veenker on April 24 and then again this morning, May 3.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Nick Christians
May 2, 2013

 It is May 2 and we have a snow storm going on in Ames.  Normally, when people ask me for a date by which they should have their preemergence herbicide applied for crabgrass control, my standard answer is to have it down by May 1.  The question that I have received most often in the last two days, is whether this cold weather will delay germination. 

The expected answer would be that the cold weather will delay germination,  however, I have been watching crabgrass germination dates for 34 years here in central Iowa.  What I have observed is that the germination date does not vary much from year to year.  When we have a warm spring and you would expect early germination, the crabgrass still germinates about the same time (around May 1).  When we have a cold spring, like this one, the crabgrass still seems to germinate about the same time.  It may be a few days early or late, but not a few weeks.

I am still expecting crabgrass to germinate soon.  If you do not have your preemerge down, I would recommend applying it as soon after the snow melts as possible.  I put mine on last week.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Nick Christians
May 1, 2013

At Iowa State, we have had a course called Horticulture 454, "Turf & Landscape Irrigation" for a number of years.  The course will be taught by Tim VanLoo of the Athletic Department in the fall of 2013. 

There is some work going on to expand this course and to teach it in conjunction with the community colleges. In addition to Tim VanLoo from Iowa State University, Randall Vos and James Legg-Instructors of  Des Moines Area Community College, Neric Smith-Instructor, Indian Hills Community College, Troy McQuillen-Instructor, Kirkwood Community College and Lynda Wightman, Industry Relations Manager, Hunter Industries Incorporated are involved in the planning process.   Hopefully this will become a web based course with laboratory courses on irrigation offered on-site at each community college location as well as at ISU.  This is a pilot project aimed at community colleges partnering with four-year schools to offer common courses.  The irrigation foundation (www.irrigationfoundation.org) has developed a wonderful set of curriculum resources, irrigation career information, and faculty training to assist colleges with the dissemination of irrigation information. Lynda Wightman,  was instrumental in assisting the group with the foundation material that would support the curriculum idea to partner in offering this class.  We will keep you informed of the progress on this course.  It would be available to those working full time in the industry when it is fully developed.

The picture below includes Barb Osborn of Iowa State, foreground left, Lynda Wightman, back left, Tryo McQuillen, back right, Neric Smith, center right, and Tim VanLoo, foreground right.  This initial planning session took place on April, 29, 2013 at Iowa State.