Spring Sting

Believe it or not the first day of spring was today. I know it was hard to tell with the snow mixed with rain. Although yesterday it was sunny while the snow fell. So that has to be the sign that spring is here. Well another good barometer for judging the arrival of spring is the germination of annual plants. Stinging Nettle is one that we have a lot of during the season along the border of the golf course.

Stinging Nettle seems to be everywhere. The plant is apparent in fertile soils that have been recently disturbed. Makes pretty good sense. When the golf course was built there was some good amount of disturbance along the border of the golf course along along the wooded areas. It seems to be like a wall of Nettles in some places. Since we have done a lot of storm clean up along the border of the course, the additional disturbance I felt would produce a generous crop of the nettles.

This spring we are trying to act while the plant is young and control the weed with a selective herbicide to give us some relief. If the plant rubs against your skin most people feel a stinging sensation that becomes very itchy later. This is not an ideal situation for a golfer that would like to look for a shot that rolls just off the border of the turf. We are trying to act early to catch the plant young and also avoid the time at which new leaves begin to start on the shadowing trees.

If you have any questions about our weed control strategy or if you have any comments about the course please feel free to contact me.

Justin Ruiz, CGCS, MG



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