Thursday, 28 August 2008

Maintenance Week 2008

Our summer maintenance week commenced on the 26th August. The work undertaken this year has been mainly focused on the greens with hollow coring, top-dressing and overseeding being carried out. I will endeavour to explain why these processes take place and what benefits we hope hope to achieve;

Hollow coring has been carried for two main reasons -
1) To remove thatch from the greens, which in turn helps water and air move more freely into and through the soil. This helps keep the surface of the greens dry and promotes general turf health and vigour.
2) To provide an effective seedbed. The holes made on the green are ideal for sowing seed into and provide the perfect haven for new young grass plants to grow.

Hollow coring on the putting green

Overseeding is carried out to improve the overall grass species composition in the sward. Three varieties of Fescue grass were used. These particular plants have the ideal characteristics for golf green purposes and increased numbers of fescue grasses will dramatically improve the year round conditions on the greens. You may have noticed the yellow patches on some of the greens recently, this is a turf disease called anthracnose and certain grass species are particularly susceptible to attack from it. It can kill the affected area if left unchecked and at the very least it will cause an uneven putting surface. The fine fescue grasses we are using this week are not susceptible to this disease, so the more of this grass species we can encourage the healthier our greens will be.

Top-dressing helps smooth the surface following the core aeration work. The sand/soil mix was applied very lightly to the surface of the green on two occasions this week. One application was made before the seed was sown and one after. Hopefully, down each tine hole we have a few fescue seeds sandwiched between two layers of top dressing. All we now need is the constant presence of a little moisture and some heat and we will have success. Top dressing has a number of other benefits to the turf on which I may make a separate posting later on.

Top-dressing putting green

I hope golf has not been too disrupted while this work has been taking place but I'm sure everyone would agree that the potential benefits make the temporary inconvenience worthwhile.