Compared to 2023, this May has been on average 5º cooler in the day time and 3º cooler night time temperatures. On the bright side, we almost doubled the precipitation from last May. The cooler weather has slowed down the spring recovery process for the courses with winter damage. Soil temperatures are just reaching the minimum temperatures for germination, but over the next few weeks things should really take off.

It certainly has been a typical Saskatchewan spring. Above-normal temps then cool, snow, back to warm and now cool with rain in the forecast. The only consistent thing has been the wind.

The winter of 2023/2024 was the warmest in the past 75 years.  In the Saskatoon area we had no snow until New Year’s, rain on frozen ground in December, extreme cold in January along with well above normal temperatures in February, along with a bit more rain, followed by 40cm of snow last week.  Unlike any winter I’ve ever seen.

Nothing like a good rain on frozen ground in early December! On December 7 rain fell from just south of Emma Lake to just south of Saskatoon with ice forming in areas. Some people have taken out aeration equipment to try to deal with it. We have a few greens with some ice cover in low areas at Riverside. We have applied a black gypsum product on several greens to hopefully attract some warmth and help rot the ice. Of course the 70 km winds on Monday blew some of it off. I’ve never had much success with mechanical removal of ice this time of year, sometimes causing more damage than the ice did, but you just keep trying different methods.

The weather continues to be unusual with well-above normal temperatures in November and little snow cover in most areas.

Welcome to winter. Weather-wise it has been an unusual season, although it was also a very busy year golf-wise. It seemed like we went from winter to one week of spring, 5 1/2 months of summer, one week of fall, then straight into winter.

Better late than never.  After a long dry season some timely rain fell in mid August to early September. It’s been a warm early start to fall with virtually no frost as of yet.

I don’t think I’ve experienced a start of the year like this. It seemed like we went from winter with a later-than-normal opening to full-bore summer. May was one of the warmest in history and I think we’ve had more humidity so far this year than ever. At Riverside we’ve made 2 applications of fungicide to combat summer stresses already and it’s not July yet. As well, in late May/June we saw a flush of growth that I’ve never seen before.

Although the golf season started later than most years, above normal temperatures in May have most courses in great condition for the time of year. It has been very dry throughout the province and in the Saskatoon area we’ve had 0 amount of precipitation in May. The South Saskatchewan River is as low as I can remember in the past 50 years.

After one week of spring, winter returned at many areas of the province in the south up to the Saskatoon area with areas receiving from 6-20 cm of snow. Temperatures are predicted to be back to normal early next week with some courses hoping to open the last week of April—through to early May.

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About the STA

  • Saskatchewan's Turfgrass Association, founded in 1979, is a non-profit organization. The S.T.A. was organized by a group of Turfgrass Professionals which has grown to include people from Parks, Golf Courses, Sod Growers, Cities and Commercial Companies.

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