From the President - We've Made it Through the Tough Part, Now Try to be Prepared

Well, three quarters of the year is complete, kids are back to school and the easier part of the growing season is here, when the grass, regardless of how tall it is, seems to breathe a sigh of relief…. or maybe that’s just my breath I’m hearing.

Not that we haven’t learned valuable lessons from last season, but I’m looking forward to putting the last 10 months in the rear view mirror.  It will be nice to not worry about problems that come with 30-40 degree weather like aging irrigation systems, putting on globs of sunscreen, avoiding heat stroke….. I think you get the point.

Now that we’ve made it through the tough part, let’s all get ahead of the curve and start planning for what’s to come.  According to the Farmer’s Almanac, we just need to get thru December and this winter will be warmer and drier than normal.  That would be nice.

My plan is to be ahead for the next 10 months because I still feel behind from the last 10 months -  if that makes any sense.  With a seasonable September/October expected, aeration and overseeding will be done over the next 6 weeks along with applying a fall fertilizer with slow release Nitrogen, no Potassium, and high in sulfur along with a Phosphite.  According to research by Dr. Doug Soldat and Clint Maddox (and you know how much I like research – google these guys), this helps prevent Microdochium.  

According to the Almanac, November will be drier than normal, so we plan to get drainage projects done that weren’t finished in the first part of the year.  Snow shovels will be on standby come December because I learned from last winter that I want to be in control (if that’s even possible) and clearing snow off low lying areas will help keep my grass alive (mostly).  

In December when it’s really ugly out, I will be planning for that drier and warmer winter.  Getting all my excel, word documents, and PDF files ready so the crew can get to those drain lines that need to be installed, aerate and topdress those ‘never got to’ walk-on and off areas, beautify around areas that customers tend to stand around, and so on.  I’m taking comfort remembering we don’t need to prune trees because that was the only thing we could do last winter!  

The point of this President’s message, is, try to be prepared.  Let’s be in control of what we can even in the face of nature and uncertainty.  Let’s do our research so we may better handle what comes our way with less stress.  When and wherever possible, get together with colleagues and pick each other’s brains. Let’s help each other be prepared. 

Like I say to my Foreman in charge of the golf courses, “between the three of us, we have one good brain”.  What that means is we support one another.  If I miss something, they pick up the slack or if they don’t see something, I follow up behind them and at the end of the day, we work as a team and there is less chance for mistakes.        

We can also do that as members of our association, we can help each other, and each of us has valuable information to share.  As I have always said, we are stronger together.


Peter Sorokovsky, WCTA President