Wednesday, May 10, 2023

May 2023 GCM Update

While we are now in the rainy season in southern Florida, we are missing the...rain. It is seemingly raining everywhere but Copperleaf, but I remain optimistic that will come very soon. As of today, the lake levels are the lowest they have been in my nearly 2 years at Copperleaf. We are continuing to selectively irrigate dry areas through the day, but our supply is quickly diminishing. Fingers crossed, we will soon receive the much needed rain to fill up our lakes and balance out the turfgrass aesthetics.

Our new butterfly garden continues to thrive with several species of butterflies having found this new location. With its early success, we are likely going to be expanding the garden on both sides to provide additional habitat and enhance the aesthetics around this area. 

Our first Wednesday closure of the year included a small-tine aerification on the putting greens. Small, 1/4" coring tines were used to open up the soil profile in order to reduce compaction, promote oxygen exchange and encourage new root growth. The greens were topdressed prior to aerifying in order to fill the holes and incorporate sand into the soil profile. 

Greens were topdressed prior to the 1/4" small-tine aerification

This was the first aerification with coring tines of 2023

Following aerification, the sand was brushed in and rolled for smoothness

During this one-day closure, we also had a contractor on property to conduct our annual root pruning of the golf course. Trees compete with turfgrass for both water and nutrients. The root pruning is a one-day process with a tractor-mounted pruning system that makes its way around the golf course pruning roots around large trees. The machine that is used is very efficient, with minimal surface disruption and virtually no cleanup necessary. It severs roots up to 6" in diameter and slices to a depth of 10" into the soil. This process prevents tree root encroachment into the turfgrass, ultimately eliminating the loss of water and nutrients. 

Tree root pruning is an annual process that promotes turfgrass health without causing harm to the trees

Our annual Curfew application is scheduled during our June 6th - 8th closure. Curfew is a soil fumigant and is extremely effective in eradicating plant-parasitic nematodes. Nematodes are microscopic roundworms that feed on living plant tissue. These extremely destructive pests can potentially kill very large areas of turf. During this application, Curfew is injected into the soil as a liquid. It then volatilizes and moves through the soil, eradicating the unwanted pests. Following the application, the injection lines or "slits" in the turf will be visible throughout the golf course for several weeks. A fertilizer application is scheduled soon after the application to expidite the recovery process and help heal the temporary scars. 

Lastly, we have formally achieved our recertification as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. Copperleaf initially earned this designation in 2006, with a recertification requirement every three years. Over the past 17 years, Copperleaf has continued to demonstrate a commitment to environmental sustainability through enhancing wildlife habitat and protecting natural resources. 

As always, feel free to email any questions, comments or concerns to

Purple Martin hatchlings

Great Crested Flycatcher nesting on Hole #10

Repurposed tee marker stones have been cleaned and will now serve as permanant tee markers for the yellow tees.