Winter preparations are already underway at many northern golf courses. Crews are feverishly working to complete leaf cleanup, apply preventative snow mold treatments, make final sand topdressing applications and winterize their irrigation systems.
One commonly overlooked component when winterizing an irrigation system is the irrigation field controller. Contrary to popular belief, it is recommended that AC power remain on at the controller during winter shutdown. Electromechanical field controllers are equipped with a heater resistor that provides a small amount of heat to the unit, thereby helping to prevent condensation and rust formation. Keep these units powered on to prolong the lifespan of their components.
Unfortunately, a warm field controller cabinet is a cozy home for pests looking to take winter shelter. Fire ants, spiders, wasps and hornets are just a few of the nasty pests that can claim squatter’s rights.
Many golf course superintendents have had success combatting this problem by placing insecticide strips, such as NUVAN® PROSTRIPS®, in their field controllers. These insecticide strips create a vapor that kills existing insects and prevents new infestations from occurring for up to four months. The strips are small, relatively inexpensive and can be used not only during the winter months, but also throughout the year to provide protection from insect pests.
Central Region Agronomists:
Bob Vavrek, regional director – email@example.com
John Daniels, agronomist – firstname.lastname@example.org
Zach Nicoludis, agronomist – email@example.com
Information on the USGA’s Course Consulting Service
Contact the Green Section Staff