Do you ever wonder how golf courses keep their greens and grounds attractive and functional? At one time or another, we’ve all wished we could have a lawn that looks at least a little like the greens at the U.S. Open. Debug the Myths went on a behind the scenes tour recently with Jim Ferrin, golf course superintendent and director of landscape, at Timber Creeks Golf Course in Roseville, Calif., to learn some of the “tricks of the trade” you can use to make your lawn attractive and functional for your family.
On the tour Jim shared his extensive agronomic knowledge of turf grass management, which we’ve narrowed down to a top five list for keeping your lawn healthier and ready for play.
1) Make your lawn see your shadow. A thriving, well-maintained lawn requires a time commitment. You’ll need to walk around during the day, not only to see your shadow, but also to scout for disease or pest problems, identify nutrient needs and to ensure you are watering properly.
2) Pick well-adapted plants. When soil is disrupted – as it is when planting – weeds will thrive because they adapt to the environment. Selecting plants that will do well in your local conditions helps to control weeds and ensure the plants will grow.
3) Don’t plant a pest. Invasive species of plants can take over an ecosystem and push out native species. Be aware of what you are planting by reviewing the “Don’t Plant a Pest” information on the California Invasive Plant Council website (http://www.cal-ipc.org).
4) Integrate. Managing your lawn and landscape is a multifaceted process. Combine prevention, identification and, when needed, treatment to control pests, weeds and disease.
5) Remember the end game. While taking care of your outdoor space is a lot of work, think about how it contributes to your quality of life and enjoyment of your home. A healthy lawn keeps you and your family active and helps maintain your property value. Thanks to Jim and his staff, including members of Valley Crest Landscape Companies and his agronomist, Dave Wilbur, for all the helpful information!