Saturday, 9 May 2015

March 2015

Welcome to the first Honiton Golf Club greens blog!
The aim of this blog is to create a better understanding of who the greens staff are, what we do, when we do it, and most importantly why we do it!

Having spent most of the winter picking up leaves and clearing ditches to ensure the course opens as soon as possible after heavy rainfall, the team are certainly looking forward to some finer weather.
Due to very low night time temperatures (5°C soil temperature), growth is still very slow despite mild daytime temperatures.
An application of fast acting Nitrogen and Iron has been applied to the greens and approaches to try to encourage some growth as well as trying to weaken areas of moss.
As you may have noticed, we have been busy renovating our tees, they have been hollow cored and scarified and will be seeded and topdressed in due course.
By the time you read this, hopefully (weather depending) we will have finished our spring renovations.
We will be carrying out aeration on the greens and approaches, followed by scarification, topdressing, over seeding, and another application of fertiliser to aid recovery.
These operations, although disruptive, are an essential part of our maintenance program.

The aeration will be carried out using 12mm solid tines and will help to:
  • ·        Create air spaces in the soil profile for roots to grow into; increasing both root depth and density.
  • ·        Reduce compaction
  • ·        Improve drainage
  • ·        Improve Nutrient availability
  • ·        Increase the activity of soil biology, and so help to break down thatch and aid natural aeration.
  • ·        Allow poisonous gases to be released from the soil profile and be replaced by oxygen.

Aeration is followed by scarification to physically remove some thatch that may have built up.
A mix of festuca/agrostis seed is then applied and covered with an application of topdressing, this is then matted into the surface to help:
  • ·        Level up the surface
  • ·        Dilute thatch
  • ·        Create firmer, smoother putting surfaces
  • ·        Encourage more disease resistant, desirable Agrostis and Festuca grass species.

We appreciate your patience whilst this work is being carried out, and can assure you that we take no pleasure in ‘hammering holes in the greens’, we just see it as ‘short term pain = long term gain!’.
Over the coming weeks we hope to see an increase in temperatures so that we can look to getting some grooming and brushing in on the greens to fine down the leaves of some of the ‘bushier’ agrostis grass plants.
We will also be levelling up the back tee on the 1st, and we will be out and about on the course tidying areas where our delightful friend the mole has invaded!

Here is our apprentice Lewis scarifying the tees.

Tees hollow cored and scarified.

Many thanks
All of the greens staff.