Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Vole Test Plots Results

Last fall, I established some test plots using Milorganite fertilizer for vole repellency. You can read about it HERE In mid-April after snowmelt, I was able to observe the results from those test plots. This past winter season was a low pressure vole year, meaning the voles were not as active as other years. The main reason for this was the lack of snowfall and the lack of duration of what snow was recieved. Voles are primarily active under snowcover. No snow cover equals no voles. There was some snow cover however and we did see some positive results with the Milorganite use. The rate used for the test plots was 1#/N/M. Take a look at some of my findings below.

Voles active in the area, but the Milorganite plot stayed clean from any damage.

In this test plot we had heavy vole damage on two sides, but the plot was generally clean.
The arrow shows vole entry into the plot from the right side, but it appears there was
repellency as very minimal damage occurred.
Another observation from the test plots was spring green-up. At the time of the test plot observations, soil temperatures were in the high 30's. In the photos below you can already see some spring green up occurring even with these extremely cold soil temperatures.

Initial spring green-up noticed immediately after snowmelt with soil temperatures in the high 30's.
Although it wasn't a high pressure vole year, there were certainly some indications that Milorganite can be effective for vole repellency. This fall, I plan to establish some new test plots to study this repellency further. Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

TurfNetTV - Latest Video is Live...

My latest ON COURSE video for TurfNet is live. In this video I discuss how to take great before and after photos on the golf course of project work. Documenting your work with before and after photos is very important. Follow these few simple steps and your before and after photos will become special. To view video click HERE

Thanks to Tanto Irrigation for supporting my video work. Visit their website HERE

Monday, May 7, 2018

TOCA Award for Solheim Cup Coverage

Recently, I received the news as part of the TurfNet team, that I was the recipient of a TOCA Award (Turf and Ornamental Communication Association) for my video work during the 2017 Solheim Cup. What a great honor to receive this award as part of the TurfNet team. You can read the entire award coverage HERE

My experience at the Solheim Cup was one I will never forget. A big thanks to both TurfNet and Rick Tegtmeier, Director of Grounds, Des Moines G&CC for allowing me to cover this great event. You can view all my 2017 Solheim Cup coverage HERE  I also would like to give a shout out to my sponsors, without them this wouldn't have been possible. Thanks to Tru-Turf, WinField United, GRIGG, DHR Construction, Frost Inc., Toro, Larry Rodgers Design Group, Pro-Angle Sand, Tee-2-Green, Bayer Golf, Aerification FX, and Swingle Tree.

Proud to Receive this Award!

Friday, April 20, 2018

TurfNetTV - Latest Video is Live.....

My latest ON COURSE video is live on In this video I show how to make simple irrigation sprinkler head drive assembly pullers. I invented these pullers many years ago and they were always a big help for myself and staff. Take a look at the video HERE

I would also like to welcome my new video series sponsor, Tanto Irrigation. I've work with this irrigation installation company first hand and their work is second to none. If you're planning an irrigation system, they are a great choice for the install. Feel free to contact me personally if you need more information. Check them out at TANTO IRRIGATION

As always, thank you for the support of my video work and happy viewing!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Video Archives on TurfNetTV.......

Regularly, I get asked about what happens to my ON COURSE videos at once they leave the homepage? TurfNet does a great job by keeping them organized and available to view in an archive section. You can view my videos along with others such as Hector's Shop, Randy Wilson, etc. by going to the archive section. To check out the archives, go to the homepage at and follow the instructional photos below. Thank you for viewing and supporting my video work!

Once on the homepage, go to the menu at the top of
the page and select TurfNetTV.

From the drop down menu, select ON COURSE with Kevin Ross.

You will now be on the TurfNetTV ON COURSE with Kevin Ross archive page.
Enjoy and thanks for watching.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

WinField Educational Event...

Really excited to be part of the WinField educational team headed to Seattle, WA and Portland, OR. This looks like a fun trip with great education on tap. Last year I met many superintendents from the area and hope to do the same this year. Come and join us, it's free. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Great TurfNet Podcast....

In this podcast, The Turfgrass Zealot Project, host, Dave Wilbur has a very lively discussion with Armen Suny. They cover some really interesting stuff about the golf industry, both past and present! From golf balls to sand base systems to the whiskey loop, this is great stuff. I owe Armen Suny a great deal of thanks, he helped me secure a great superintendent's position some 25 years ago that was the cornerstone of my career! Also, I am pleased to call the Turfgrass Zealot, Dave Wilbur, a great friend! I thank both of these greats for being friends! 

This podcast was a blast to listen to for me and I'm sure it will be for you as well. Fire this up, sit back and relax, and enjoy the ride! Listen HERE

Thursday, March 22, 2018

TurfNet TV - Latest Video is Live...

My latest video for TurfNetTV a "Tips and Tricks" version is live. In this video I show how to organize your control product storage facility with the simple use of a sharpie. Dating the containers upon delivery is a very simple thing to do that will make organizing your inventory very easy. To view the video CLICK HERE

Saturday, March 10, 2018

TurfNet TV - Latest Video is Live..

My latest video for TurfNetTV is live. In this video I have a conversation with Kasey Kauff, Director of Grounds at Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas, Texas. Kasey and I discuss his career path to Trinity, the construction and design of the golf course and the upcoming PGA Tour event, the ATT Byron Nelson. This video will give you a little idea of what a unique property Trinity is and the challenge awaiting the PGA tour players. To view click HERE thanks for watching.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Management of Free Water on Springtime Turf..

There is no question that early spring can be a nervous time of year for golf course management teams. Finding out what the ravages of winter has done to the golf course can make or break the upcoming season. One management technique I believe is sometimes overlooked in late-winter/early-spring is the management of free water on the turf surface. With soils still frozen, water doesn't infiltrate into the soil profile, so it just sits or pools on the surface. Positive drainage is much more limited this time of year due to frost formation, snow/ice dams, even turf species and height of cut can cause issues. Through my career I have seen turf damage on multiply occasions that happens during this time of year.

The soil around sand based greens can heave significantly more than the green surface, causing a slow surface drainage situation. This is where attention to remove water is needed.

Here you can see how height of cut and/or turf species can pool water, even with positive surface drainage.

Managing this free water is something everyone should be in tune with. How is it done? It's primarily about knowing the temperature and sun intensity of the day to predict the melt. If the forecast tells you it could be a melt/runoff day, then you should be prepared. You also should alert your staff that it might take working longer hours during this period. Most of this free water doesn't start accumulating until mid-afternoon. It also accumulates at once on all turf surfaces. So with these situations, it's all hands on deck, or should it be, all squeezes in the carts.

Another example of how height of cut can slow water movement.

The use of squeegees to remove the meltwater off the turf surface is the best option.

I always felt better heading home knowing we had removed all the free water possible off the turf that day. So, keep an eye towards the weather, and get those squeegees ready!