Expert Michael Dieckhoff of Whispering Pines Golf Club Explains All
By Kent Roberts
Michael Dieckhoff, superintendent of Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, ranked best in Texas by The Dallas Morning News every year since 2006, shares how a homeowner might achieve a golf course caliber lawn.
A Good Clean Cut
Don’t overdo it. “I find that the higher you mow it, the better it does,” Dieckhoff said, “because you’re eliminating the stress of trying to maintain low mowing heights on it.” Also, if sunlight can’t reach the soil, weed seeds can’t germinate.
Also: “A sharp blade is your best friend,” he said. “If you don’t have a sharp blade, you’re just ripping and tearing.”
Achieve a Balance with Fertilizer and Water
Different grasses require different types of fertilization compounds and different frequency of application. For general maintenance, Dieckhoff said homeowners often err on the side of excess. For example, different times of year have different irrigation needs. “If you over-fertilize and over-water, you’re more apt to get disease,” he said. “It’s a fine balance. Sometimes the attitude is that more is better, and that’s not always the case.”
A Trained Eye
Dieckhoff recommended turning over several elements of lawn care to professionals, based on equipment, product access and expertise.
“I would turn over chemical and fertility applications and any mechanical disturbance, such as verti-cutting and core aerifying,” said Dieckhoff. “It’s worth it if you look at the quality of fertilizer a lawn company can buy. When you buy Roundup at the store, you’re paying for mainly water. They’re going to be scouting the yard for disease and for insects. A lot of times, because they have a trained eye, they’ll be able to catch something early.”
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