By: John Mascaro

Volume 7 Number 2 - June 2001

To see this newsletter online with photos go to the following page: http://www.turf-tec.com/june01.html


In this issue:

  1. Editors Notes, from the Drought State.
  2. Grass roots, there what's for dinner.
  3. New proposed environmental ban.
  4. Looking back.
  5. Contributions to this publication.
  6. Privacy policies.


Editors notes, from the Drought State.

I decided to create a section about local events so anyone in South Florida or anyone that wants Florida news can be updated, however, this news pertains to anyone using water. Well it's June now and South Florida is still like a desert. We are still in another record drought with lots of stress on our grass. Phase two water restrictions are still in effect; however, June 1st begins the beginning of hurricane season. If we get our usual 80 inches of rain, we will hopefully be back in business.

The problem is that we have had several dry years in a row and the levels of Lake Okeechobee are at record lows. Lake Okeechobee is the back up water supply for all of South Florida and is the lifeline of the Everglades. I also understand that 80 inches of rain is about six and a half feet of water, but we are so sandy and flat, that we can have a 12 inch rain in a 24 hour period and there will be no puddles left the next day.

One good outcome of this drought is the fact that the University of Florida and the Golf Course Superintendents have worked together with the water management district to revise the water restrictions. Now, in phase two water restrictions, you can only water your turf on two designated days a week with a 4-hour window, which with most irrigation systems, is not even close to adequate. If we go to phase three water restrictions, the old guidelines were for one designated day a week.

Turf-Tec Moisture Sensor tells soil moisture in percentage of moisture in the pore space of the soil.

The new revised phase three water restrictions will allow watering on a much more rational approach. The water management district will allow you to use 45% of your monthly permitted water allotment, when you need it. So if you are permitted for 100 Million gallons a year, you can use 45 Million gallons a year or 3.75 Million gallons a month. The nice thing about it is that the turf manager can put it out when the grass needs it, not according to the calendar.

I urge all of you to bring this up at your local meetings, get together with your local water management districts and try to establish better guidelines. With potable water concerns growing all over the world, it will just be a matter of time before we all have to face these concerns, try to do it before your grass is over the fire! You can read more about these new revised guidelines at: http://www.sfwmd.gov/


Grass roots, there what's for dinner.

I really do love grass, but what I am talking about is not eating grass, it is about what your grass is eating. I cannot tell you how many different turfgrass areas I have been on in my life, but I assure you that the description "a bunch" would suffice. All these grass areas differ in grass varieties soil type, mowing heights, availability of water, altitude and other external factors.

However, with all the differences, there is one factor that can always tell you the health of the grass, itís the health of the roots. On almost every turf area I have been on, I have poked a hole in the ground and looked at the grass roots. That's right, if you invite me on your golf course or athletic field, you can be sure that I am going to put my Mascaro Profile Sampler, or a knife if I am unarmed, into the soil and see how your grass is doing.

It never ceases to amaze me that the areas that look great often shock the heck out of me when I see the profile. In many cases, the turfgrass manager is living on the edge. Sure the grass looks perfect, but if the roots are not healthy, or if the thatch is too deep or if layers are restricting root movement, one little problem and good bye grass!

The Mascaro Profile allows an undisturbed view of the soil for seeing the grass root health and depth.

There are two approaches to this problem, one is to have a large sod nursery, and the other approach is to look closely at the profile, determine its health. Be critical, you are the doctor and the grass is the patient that won't stop eating too much or smoking 20 packs of cigarettes a day. Take infiltration readings, check the moisture.

Find the problems before they become visually apparent and correct them. Nobody else has to know that 10 years ago, there was experimental topdressing applied that now has turned to cement two inches down in the profile. The question is, how can I correct the problem so the grass roots can grow through it?

If you have a living dynamic soils that have live turf growing in it; there is almost no problem that you cannot overcome. The trick is, find out the exact problem and address it. Then when you fertilize, your roots will know what's for dinner.


New Proposed Environmental Ban.

This is one of those environmental bans on a really nasty substance that I think we really need to get behind. Usually, I take the approach that most substances if they are in the hands of licensed and educated individuals are acceptable. But in this case, the material listed below, seems so sinister, that I must get on the bandwagon and also endorse its ban. Thanks to alert Turf-Tec Digest reader David Shadden for bringing it to my attention.

Subject: The Ban on Dihydrogen Monoxide

A freshman at Eagle Rock Junior High School won the first prize at the Greater Idaho Falls Science Fair, April 26, 1997. He was attempting to show how conditioned people have become to alarmists practicing science and spreading fear of everything in our environment. In his project he urged people to sign a petition demanding strict control or total elimination to the chemical called "dihydrogen monoxide". And for plenty of good reasons:

1. It can cause excessive sweating and vomiting.
2. It is a major component in acid rain.
3. It can cause severe burns in its gaseous state.
4. Accidental inhalation can kill you.
5. It contributes to erosion.
6. It decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes.
7. It has been found in tumors of terminal cancer patients.
8. Despite the danger, it is used in nuclear power plants.
9. The navy conducts experiments with it.
10. It contributes to the Greenhouse effect.

He asked 50 people if they supported a ban on the chemical. 43 people said yes, 6 were undecided, and only one person knew that the chemical was actually water (dihydrogen monoxide = H2O).


There is even an organization called the "Dihygrogen Monoxide Research Division" that is devoted to this ban. They can be found at: http://www.dhmo.org/ This is a must!


Looking back.

The best way to look back in this issue is to go to the Golf Course Superintendents Association's GCSAA 75th Anniversary Celebration in Lawrence, Kansas.

GCSAA's anniversary celebration will be held at GCSAA headquarters in Lawrence, Kansas, and nearby Kansas City, September 13-14. Members, invited guests and industry representatives will gather for a program that pays tribute to past leadership, recognizes significant contributions and culminates in a social celebration. Programs of educational enrichment as well as fun social activities are also planned.

To see more photo's like this, go to the history section of the web site.

GCSAA will also have an open house, which will include historical displays, informational booths and many fun activities will be provided to help attendees celebrate the anniversary. Guests will be able to personally experience the evolution of golf by using hickory hacker clubs and feathery balls, modern clubs or the futuristic golf simulator. Tours of headquarters will also be provided.

Open house attendees will be able to enjoy The Dennis Walters Golf Show and see a performance of golf mastery and human inspiration. Trick shots and the Super Dog, Benji Hogan will be part of this motivational program.

Dedication Ceremony

The dedication will include the sealing of a time capsule, the unveiling of a sculpted life-sized replica of Old Tom Morris and the addition of a new sculpture garden and commemorative brick walkway. Bagpipers and even Old Tom Morris will be hand to pay tribute to past leadership and to look to the future of the association. If you have any suggestions for items to include in the time capsule, please send them to Judy Ventsam at GCSAA.

Reception and Dinner

Attendees will be able to enjoy The Dennis Walters Golf Show and see a performance of golf mastery and human inspiration. Trick shots and the Super Dog, Benji Hogan will be part of this motivational program.

For more information, click on the link here: http://www.gcsaa.org/about/75th/tribute.html



Contributions to this publication.

I also want to invite all of you recipients of this newsletter that if you wish to contribute any information that you find interesting or exciting, please send it to me and I will include it along with crediting it's source.

Also, if you know another Golf Course Superintendent or Sports Turf Manager that would like to receive the Turf-Tec Digest, have them forward their email address along to me. In addition, I get most of my new product ideas from Golf Course Superintendents and Sports Turf Managers who see a need in the industry that has not been filled. Be sure to look at the new product section on my web site for new additions. http://www.turf-tec.com/Map.html


Privacy policies.

If you received this newsletter directly from john@turf-tec.com, donít worry. I personally acquired your name by researching each golf course and sports facility individually. In addition Turf-Tec does not buy, sell, trade or share their mailing list to anyone. We also have taken security measures to insure that your name will not be passed along to other people. If, however you still do not want to receive this newsletter, simply respond to this email with the words "remove" in the subject line and your name will be permanently deleted from our list.


If you have not received your new free 2001 Turf-Tec Catalog call us toll free (800) 258-7477 or email me at john@turf-tec.com or fill out the online form at http://www.turf-tec.com/form.html

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