I would by lying if I said the past 2 years had been easy. It has been a journey filled with highs and lows. Highs such as seeing the possible effects that rolling has on fusarium patch and going 360 days without a synthetic pesticide application on my 8th green have overshadowed the lows of losing grass and being ridiculed by my peers for being different and maybe a bit crazy. I have experienced great success and also great failure but in the end I have started to accomplish what I originally set out to do in September of 2011. Just to be clear I didn't set out to find a way to eliminate the use of pesticides, I just wanted to find a different way of doing things that reduce the need to use these products in case of a pesticide ban. I was sick of all the pesticide haters saying we should ban these products without offering real alternatives. I set out to find an alternative way.
|yep, that didn't work....|
|yep, that also didn't work. hmmm...|
My primary pesticide reduction strategy was withholding pesticides and powering the turf through the damage. This worked to a certain level as I had managed to cut my pesticide use in half using these methods but it didn't work from late fall, through the winter, and into early spring when the turf growth rates in my climate were very slow. It actually seemed that the more I tried to push growth during these periods, the worse the disease would be.
|Sometimes it works!|
Because of what I had learned I was able to somewhat answer my original questions in that post. Yes, we can get turf to survive the winter in my climate without the need for traditional pesticides in most cases. We can expect that the quality of these putting surfaces will not significantly drop and will remain competitive with surfaces that need traditional pesticide applications to survive. We can possibly do this with the long hated Poa annua with tools that we possess today. Of course none of what I am doing will work in every location but for me, it works.
Looking forward I know I still have a long way to go and that makes me happy. What I have learned might not be repeatable in other locations or even my location. Many challenges still await and I plan to keep on sharing them with you as I continue to learn. I know there is no cure-all solution out there but my hope is that you can take from what I share and maybe use it in a meaningful way.
|What's going on here? It appears that something is killing the moss? Crazy? Totally!|