Sunday, November 21, 2010

Frost at The Rim

It is that time of year in the Rim Country. Overnight temperatures are below freezing and frost is inevitable. Fall is a great season with many colors to look at along the forest, but it also means frost delays are here.
Photo Courtesy of Purdue University www.ppdl.purdue.edu/PPDL/images/frostdamage1.jpg
We have adjusted are start times to reduce any frost delay during the winter months. We also have had cold enough weather to have frost stick around long enough to even delay our 1000am start time. We will do our best to get the course ready during the cold weather to reduce any kind of delay that may occur.
During the times of cold winter weather we will need to delay traffic on the turf until frost is melted. We want to avoid frost damage, because recovery is very slow this time of year. Damage from a cart or a walker can take more than a week to recover. The damage will start out purple in color and turn to a straw brown as the leaves begin to dry.
I like to use the analogy of a piece of glass shattering, when I explain frost damage. When the leaf blade of the plant is frozen and becomes crushed by a tire or a shoe it is basically like a piece of glass shattering into many pieces. Microscopically when the leaf blade sustains the damage the cells shatters into pieces. The pieces move through the plant destroying cells in its path. Once the plant begins to thaw the plant fluid leaks out and the leaf blade and will look water soaked and purple. The leaf blade is now dead and will turn brown. Rarely does this damage affect the crown of the plant so the plant itself is not dead. The problem is that growth is slowed during cold weather, which makes for a slow and painstaking recovery.
With that being said, we ask that walkers and cart traffic avoid turf while it is frozen to protect the grass. If there are any questions about frost and how we make the decision to delay golf please contact me.
Justin C. Ruiz, CGCS

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