Progress in the Parks
A Stitch in Time Saves Nine!
Maintenance – no one wants to do it. But it is a necessary evil. The Neosho Municipal Golf Course has had a very busy season this summer. The rounds of golf played this year has been greater than ever before. Over the past two months the course has been the site of two tournaments each week. With weekly league play and daily walk-ins, the Neosho Municipal Golf Course has hosted a lot of golf and created many good memories for an untold number of people.
We have planned for the past several weeks to have the course closed on Monday October 11 for an opportunity to aerate the greens. The much-needed rain that came in on the early morning on October 11 caused for a delay. By mid-day the sun came out providing a perfect day to carry out our plan. The golf course team along with additional parks staff were able to progress through the greens of the course. By late evening Monday they were able to complete coring the greens. Tuesday was spent working the greens to prepare them for play. But due to the late start Monday the course was closed for the second day to complete the operation. This procedure will allow for better moisture penetration into the surface of the greens as well as promote root growth. The grass had been fertilized two weeks ago so the plants are vigorously growing and ready for this procedure. The forecasted cooler weather and precipitation moving in later in the week should provide excellent opportunity for the greens to heal from this maintenance activity.
Having the golf course closed for two days also allowed for an application of pulverized limestone to be applied to the fairways and tee boxes. Pulverized limestone (Calcium Carbonate) is used as a neutralizing agent that will react with the soil, reducing the soil acidity and raising the soil pH
Soil testing was done earlier in the year. Results of the test indicated that the soil pH was categorized as “very low” condition. On the pH scale a reading of 7 is neutral, above that is basic, or alkaline, below 7 is acidic. Most agriculture producers know that soil should be in the 6 to 6.5 range to provide for the best growth rates for grasses. Soils in this range will allow plants to have access and fully utilize the nutrients of the soil. It will also allow the chemical fertilizers and pesticides to function as they are designed with little or no runoff.
The tests came back with soil pH as low as 4.2 and 4.3. At this level the plants are struggling to survive, let alone grow and thrive. The limestone that we used came from Carthage Quarry. It was ground very fine and resembled a heavy flour. Due to the recent rain the lime was damp and did not create a lot of dust. Most of the lime, even the very fine particles made it to the ground as was intended.
Moving ahead now the lime will slowly begin to react with the soil to neutralize the soil and raise the ph. The soil test called for 4.5 tons of limestone per acre to be applied. We applied 2.5 tons per acre with plans to re-apply in 1 or 2 years to complete the process. Limestone applications on an area like the Neosho Municipal Golf Course should last 7 to 10 years. All the grass clippings are blown back out on the ground, and nothing is removed from the site. For this lime to leave the site it must leach down through the soil, that process will take many years.
As you drive around our town out past the golf course or go play a round on a sunny fall day, keep in mind that a lot of work must go into that property to maintain it in that condition. These things do not “just happen” because we want them to. Science, when applied to the landscape will allow the land to meet our goals.
So “a stitch in time, saves nine” or in this case eighteen!
Neosho Parks are Special!
Neosho Parks Director