I would like to start by welcoming Jim to our team. Jim has now started with us 2 days a week as our mechanic. He previously worked for a machinery dealer we used, so knows all of our machinery personally. This will make a considerable difference to the amount of time spent in the shed fixing and setting up our machinery and allow us to concentrate on the course where we do our best work. It will also save us money as we will be able to keep some machines for longer and in the long run save us money on parts.
Since the last report we have continued our work on the greens with another spike and top dress. We managed to get around 10T into the greens taking our total to 90T for the year and spiked to a depth of 8”, double brushed and rolled all in one day. We decided to go with a slightly bigger tine than we have previous as the rainfall has been quite high and the opportunities for spiking are getting less as we have a lot of competitions coming up. We always vary the depth when spiking to allow the roots to grow freely, to alleviate the chance root break and to make sure that every inch of the soil profile is looked after.
I thought I would add in a photo (at the bottom of the page) to show you exactly why we do what I have just touched on. This picture is of a core taken from the 6th green which has excellent root growth and density for this time of year. This is a huge improvement from 6-7 months ago and proves that we are going in the right direction and all the work we have done is working.
All the aprons have been fertilised and have shown good improvement but it will take a little more time and a full renovation to bring them up to the standard of the original aprons. Most areas that have shown signs of damage have been dressed and seeded and have already started to grow back and there is still some adjusting of the irrigation to do to get the water to some parts of the new areas. They along with the tees have been spiked with big tines to build plant health, increase root growth and encourage recovery.
The greens have been recently sprayed with our wetting agent and stress relief package. Wetting agent is a crucial tool that is used throughout the year to draw the water away from the surface and store it underneath to allow access for the roots. This means that although the surface is dry there is a sufficient amount of water to keep the plant healthy. In the last couple of weeks we have had a fair bit of rain and warm temperatures which resulted in our greens having a mild bout of Fusarium. Fusarium is a fungal disease which thrives in such conditions and can be treated with various products. In some cases it is necessary but on this occasion we managed to ride it out without spraying any fungicide which is a good indication that the greens are healthy.
In the next few days we are planning (weather permitted) to spray the whole car park, around the club house and on the course with a total weed killer which will tidy up these areas and stop anything from growing back for a while. The hedge row from the 4th tee all the way to the 6th ladies will be cut right back to allow the out of bounds to be put back to where it should be and tidy up that whole edge of the course.
The greens are due to be sprayed with a fertiliser and growth retardant and they will be lightly verti-cut once more before Club Championship. There will also be a few light dressing over the coming weeks to maintain the speed and trueness of the playing surface which will not interfere with play at any time.