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Diary of Jeff Ittel - Green Prairie Turf Week 4, August 22-28, 2011

Published Sep. 6, 2011 | Discuss this article on Facebook

Monday, August 22nd

We started the week the way we normally do, by cutting sod. It was a lighter day with a few deliveries. We started the TL irrigation unit with the end of the field 600 feet away. When it reached the end we would wait a day or two and send it back on a return watering. With about ten feet to go the TL quit pulling. It appeared to bog down. The TL had started to pull an extra hose we had attached to enable it to reach the end of the field. It was close enough to the end so I shut it down. That day we also watered L108, the field we are currently harvesting.

Tuesday, August 23rd

Again we started the day filling the sod orders. We were a little busier with deliveries. Jeff and I went out on these deliveries. Travis and Mike set up water in L108 again. They next prepared to set the TL on it's return to the other end of the field. They had trouble with the TL driving the opposite direction. They discovered that one of the torque hubs wasn't functioning. Yesterday when it bogged down it chipped some teeth on the drive gears. No watering the new seed until we get the hub fixed. We ended up ordering a new torque hub. We will rebuild the broken one and then have a good spare on hand if we ever lose another. I showed the mature zoysia to a golf course superintendent. The course is planning on converting a fairway to zoysia next week. He was pleased with the stand.

Wednesday, August 24th

Cut sod this morning with no deliveries. Today's goal is to reseed a bluegrass field. This is a nine acre field of bluegrass sod we planted last year. Last year at this time we didn't have water on this farm. (We buried 1800 feet of eight inch waterline on this farm the first week of January 2011). This bluegrass field waited on rain to bring it up. The rain never came last fall. The sod germinated this spring and the stand was terrible. We have a seeder that slices groves in the turf and drops seed in those groves. It is only four feet wide. We have never used this seeder to over seed an entire field before. This was going to be a first and we thought it would take a day to replant. The seeder was last used to plant some sort of grass seed blend. We needed to be sure it was completely clean of any seed. This took some time to clean out but now we know where the foreign seed hides. Late afternoon we made it to the field. The ground is awfully hard and we had it set to deep. This machine isn't designed for this sort of application. It is made to reseed a lawn. Brought it back in the shop to reset the depth of cut. Will start again tomorrow.

Thursday, August 25th

We had four tenths of an inch of rain last night. We cut sod this morning and made deliveries as well. Jeff and I went out on delivery. Travis worked with irrigation, winding up hose and servicing the pumps. Mike began slice seeding. We're trying to put on eight pound per round. Setting the seed rate is not easy. This Toro seeder is one course machine with no fine adjustment. Mike finally settled on about ten pounds per round. Close enough.

Friday, August 26th

We got all of our deliveries out of the way yesterday and we had no orders for sod this morning. Slice seeding continued and was completed this afternoon. I did some weed control in the newly seeded zoysia and the fescue field that we plan on moving to this fall. This afternoon we cut sod for some pickups on Saturday.

Saturday, August 27th

Dad loaded the sod pickups this morning.

Sunday, August 28th

Went to church and worked on this diary this evening. My son Joe mowed the regrowth zoysia this afternoon. We need to keep it pretty low. An inch in height is where we want to keep it. Thought I would include a picture of one of dads windmills. He has been restoring them and we help him set them up. We pulled this one down in July for some repairs and put it back up last week.

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