The Useful Duck!

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Monday, March 19, 2018

In the baseball field with your ear protection on, no one can hear you scream

I may have really killed the baseball field this time...
I started to spray Trimec for broadleaf weeds on the baseball field. It was like four weeks ago. I discovered that I read the schedule wrong and there was no an away game that weekend.
I made one pass along the warning track and then sprayed areas of the soccer field.
The soccer field looks great, although the clover is not really dying. Just looking wilted.
However, the baseball field started looking stressed the first week.
Here is the deal...
People blame the chemical or just random events for sprayer screw ups but it is always your fault. I have NO idea what I did.
Trimec may burn the POA a little so I was not so worried at first. It does look bad because the POA or annual Bluegrass ratio to perennial ryegrass turf is not favorable for the ryegrass...
However it is looking worse. At first the perennial had a little white burn like I mixed at too high a rate or applied at too low a speed. But it keeps looking worse.
Week 2: The yellow spots are the dying POA. Note the perennial is still green..
This was not the first area I sprayed so even if I had sprayed glyphosate earlier (which I hadn't) and even if I didn't flush the boom (which I do) then it should not have reacted this way. There is a possibility that the baseball people have been doing their own spraying but I'm a little afraid to ask. So far everyone thinks it is from the hydraulic oil blow out on the mower last month.
Week 3.5: I'm trying to convince myself it is just the POA dying...

I'm afraid to look this week.

I took the day off...

In other news...
I bought Ladybugs to eat my greenhouse aphid collection. They are chowing!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A day in the life... Groundskeeper Chronicles

Today I went to the Sports Turf Managers Association seminar at the Nike World Headquarters located near me.
We were warned in advance not to wear any non-swooshy brands.
I was much gratified to see the featured speaker was sponsored by UnderArmor.
It is also a nonsmoking campus. This really made me want to smoke but I am a nonsmoker so I had no cigars.
I was absolutely amazed at the size and scale of the place. It is completely shocking to see such a gratuitous display of conspicuous consumption in a day when the buzzword is sustainability.
Bread and circuses I suppose...
Nike uses fake wolves to scare Canada Geese off their pristine playing surfaces. They also use lasers which unfortunately do not disintegrate the geese or even teleport them back to the land of Ralph Goff. The lasers just annoy them.

I needed to come up with my favorite athlete. This was especially important since I am a Sports Turf Professional. I said Pele' is the greatest athlete of all time! I said this with much conviction. This got me into a heathy discussion about the state of Argentine and Brazilian soccer of which I had no clue. I was going to say something about Manchester United but thought I should keep quiet. My knowledge of soccer comes from listening to British Ska from the 1980's, Benny Hill, and "Are you being Served?"
(Sort of like the time I got into a heated discussion about the Mexican Revolution and my knowledge of the revolution came from The Ballad of Poncho and Lefty and an old Will James novel.)
Speaking of getting into bad situations there was also the time I went to a bar and my knowledge of drinking came from old Country-Western songs and Raymond Chandler novels and for some odd and misdirected reasoning I ordered a Gimlet. That nearly got me a boyfriend.
But, I digress.
Today I learned that I was correct in my assessment of the under fertilizing and overwatering tendencies of my department. I was also correct in using an electronic moisture tester, I read it correctly, and yes there are amazing new varieties of grass seed which are drought tolerant and grow really fast and types of fescue that are fine stemmed like perennial ryegrass but are hardy and.. and.. oh well... Also, while I was criticized in my recent employee evaluation for this very thing, I struck up conversations which provided important resources for the grounds department of my college.
For a few hours I thought about how much I loved my job.
But then I remembered I work for a bureaucracy and as soon as I start to love my job I will be cut down to size for some stupid minutiae for the sake of putting me back in my place.
So tomorrow it is back to work and I can only image how the important and useful information will be reimagined into a useless and misguided project that will bring annoyance and frustration to myself until I realize that it all pays the same and I'll go back to finding satisfaction in making the perfectly straight lawnmower trail, when I achieve that I shall retire.
Speaking of straight lawnmower trails I was able to make a trail of hydraulic oil nearly all the way around the baseball field when the main drive for the reels ruptured under the center of the mower. I can't see directly behind me so I didn't find it till the second round.
Surprisingly, the baseball coach sent an email defending me and praising my efforts at cleanup and thanking me for my sincere apology, to my supervisor. Not the email I expected I can tell you that.
I did get right on the mess with peat moss to soak up the oil, and a good dose of dawn dishwasher detergent. If it works on oily ducks why wouldn't it work on a baseball field?
Then I came home and set the no-till drill up to plant two rows of oats and one row of fescue for us only to get a call from someone wanting me to plant radish on every other row spacing. I hate planting radish...
And there you have it... The life of the lazy groundskeeper. Not so much different than the life of the lazy farmer.

Monday, March 5, 2018

A long winter

I've neglected my loyal readers.
I apologize.
Shortly after Christmas we took our bathroom apart. It has been a long process.
The MacBook Pro I use to blog with keeps dying.
Blogging with a LG-6 is not as easy as blogging with an iPhone.
I can't write what I want to write about my job.
Here is a glimpse of my life.
I have things to blog about. Like blowing out a hydraulic hose in the middle of the baseball field. Or frying the main drive belt on the Mule climbing a hill. Or planting oats at night and getting lost in the field because I can't follow little glowing GPS arrows or the fascinating details of my ongoing attempt be an audiophile and my obsession with the Rek-o-kut 120 tonearm. Or how I got my MacBook Pro to work again. Or my compelling and insightful views on politics. Or my worry that girls at my college will get a terrible draft in cold weather due to their poor choices in clothing... I'm sure these are all great blog posts and I owe it to the world of blogger to report on aforementioned events.
But, I'm lazy...

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