Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Spring Maintenance Week

Our first annual spring maintenance week commenced on the 30th March. I'm happy to report that all planned tasks were completed successfully despite a frost delay on the Monday morning lasting three hours. Thankfully no further frosts were seen during the week and scarification, overseeding and top-dressing work took place.
The main task carried out was overseeding of greens, this takes place 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.

Having identified the need for new seeding equipment last year and following a lengthy evaluation process we finally purchased a new seeder in March of this year. The Vredo Super-Compact seeder chosen represents a significant investment by the club but one which will benefit the golf course for many years to come.

The new seeder on the 9th green

The machine works by using two rows of metal discs spaced 35mm apart which make thin slits in the turf into which the grass seed is delivered. The rear roller then passes over the slits causing them to close up to reinstate the playing surface. This method ensures the seed is placed to the correct depth and that good seed/soil contact is achieved. Seed wastage is kept to an absolute minimum using this method and given the costs of high quality sportsturf seed mixes this can only be a good thing.

The metal discs making the cuts into the turf

The seed lies safely in the bottom of these slits

The lines in the turf in the photo above will shortly be full of newly emerged young grasses so management practices will be tailored to ensure these are protected in the short term.
We plan to overseed greens at least four times each season using this method. During periods of good growth and following an application of top dressing the slits disappear very quickly and
surface uniformity
is not compromised. In the coming months and years the machine will be used for seeding other areas of the course such as weak fairway areas, walkways and roughs.