Friday, 20th November 2015
Greetings from the Greenkeeping team,
Summer has moved into Autumn which in turn will soon turn into Winter.
We have been spoilt by the weather so far, indeed it’s been a very pleasant Autumn. Unfortunately every silver lining has a cloud when it comes to course management, warm days and cool autumnal night’s means this is a high risk time for disease on the Greens and we need to be ever vigilant with both the preventative and curative measures we take.
Don't be mistaken, we are at risk for most of the year but at the moment, with the soil temperatures still relatively high and the cool nights leading to heavy dew on the grass sward this creates a perfect micro climate for the disease to thrive.
A lot of thought goes into our spraying programme, there are similarities to the medical world where bacteria becomes resistant to penicillin/anti-biotics, in that the disease ‘lurking’ within the green can become resistant to the chemicals used to control them.
We are embracing cutting edge practices in adopting a more “organic/natural” approach which involves complimenting the existing chemical practices with the use of plant & vegetable extracts such as garlic, cayenne, nettle, vinegar and lime which when combined we hope will prove to be effective and ‘greener’ over the long term.
Drainage is also a firm focus and the process of clearing ditches & drains has begun and continues in earnest, we will also be verti-draining the greens which is similar to hollow tining although the holes themselves are bigger (12mm) and deeper (9”) but spaced further apart so there are less of them.
This should ease water through and away from the Greens much more quickly during wet periods providing more stable and healthier greens through the Winter.
We have raised the height of cut on Greens to 5mm, this will allow the grass plant to make the most of the sun during the short winter days throwing as much energy down into its roots as possible.
It is now very clear that the work we have done clearing vegetation from the more sheltered Greens is paying dividends with increased ventilation and sunlight and we will continue this ensuring we only remove trees where we consider it absolutely necessary and favouring raising the level of the canopy where that is a valid option.
So in conclusion this update has mainly focused on some of the practices that we employ to try and ensure that the Course remains playable for as much of the year as possible even following adverse weather conditions.
Or to quote Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus, “In times of peace, prepare for war!”