Golf Course Management

APR 2013

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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research establishing Operation Pollinator for Golf Course plantings in the transition climatic zone. Three wildfower mixes were compiled with help from Diane Wilson of the Applewood Seed Co. (Arvada, Colo.) and Sharon Bale of the University of Kentucky's department of horticulture. The three wildfower mixes were: eight wildfower species for bees (simple bee mix); 17 wildfower species for bees (complex bee mix); and 16 wildfower species for butterfies (butterfy mix). There is considerable overlap in the species included in the mixes, and most species are not expected to bloom until the second (2013) growing season. All wildfower species included in the mixes are native to the transition zone, and all are perennial species with the exception of two self-seeding annuals. Our wildfower mixes were designed to require low maintenance after initial establishment, maintain a foral display from May to September and be acceptable for use on Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program golf courses. Operation Pollinator evaluation Six Operation Pollinator sites were established in autumn 2011 at fve central Kentucky golf courses and the University of Kentucky A.J. Powell Jr. Turfgrass Research Facility. Each site included a 13-foot × 39-foot (4-meter × 12-meter) plot for each of the three treatments and a control plot, which was left fallow. Plots were prepared for seeding with an application of Fusilade II (fuazifop, Syngenta) to suppress grassy weeds followed by an application of Primo Maxx (trinexapac-ethyl, Syngenta) to suppress grass growth (6). A vertical mow was performed to scarify the plots, and seed was laid down on the same day (6). Fourteen wildfower species had successfully established by summer 2012, whereas others are expected to fll in by spring 2013. Plot evaluations began in May 2012, lasted through October 2012 and will begin again in spring 2013. The wildfower mixes were evaluated for bloom sequence and coverage in two ways: frst, by weekly visual observations to determine when each species of wildfower begins and terminates blooming; and second, by monthly photographic analysis to determine the percentage of foral cover within each plot. Relative attractiveness of the wildfower mixes to native pollinators was evaluated in two ways. First, we placed elevated bee bowls in each plot for 24 hours during each sampling month. Bee bowls are brightly colored bowls (often a fuorescent yellow or blue) flled with soapy water. Pollinators attracted to the color become trapped when they land on the soapy water. We used bee bowls as (Top) Lexington Country Club was one of six Kentucky sites that provided a naturalized site for pollinator habitat. (Bottom left) Operation Pollinator for Golf Courses, sponsored by Syngenta, was started in the United Kingdom in 2010 to provide habitat on golf courses for native pollinators. (Bottom right) Brightly colored bee bowls were flled with soapy water and placed just above the fowers to capture bees and assess population size. one measure of pollinator abundance and diversity because they provide a passive, unbiased way to document bee populations. We also assessed pollinator populations by stalking individual bees and other insects as they visited and landed on particular fower species and then collecting them with a net or container. The wildfowers chosen for our seed mixes attract many types of native pollinators, but we are specifcally interested in determining which wildApril 2013 GCM 101

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