On Fri, May 26, 2017 at 5:28 PM, Peter <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Good to catch up Thursday and see how the greens are coming on.
Even with the dry spell you are in a better position than a year ago with moss being kept on the back foot allowing grass density to increase. Also, the cores removed on the day showed strong root development through the top 100mm and the soil below 50/60mm was still cool and moist providing the grass plant with moisture due to the deeper rooting. As you are entirely dependent upon rainfall then monitoring the forecast and using intensive wetter when heavy or steady rain is expected will allow you to recharge the profile with moisture and this will aid turf performance during the main season. If the weather remains dry then drought stress will develop and I would recommend spraying only with Kelpak in this situation until the weather breaks. Also, the use of urea during the summer months is better as it has a lower scorch potential compared to ammonium sulphate and potassium nitrate so stick to these 2 products until we are back to typical Alston weather !
The greens on the day had just been top dressed with sand. The rate was heavier than normal to ensure the core holes could be filled in to allow better drainage and air movement into the soil profile. Richard commented that the corer at times was not pulling the core out and this is probably down to the depth of the thatch/mat layer and the stronger rooting that is developing. Thatch is a problem at many clubs but getting it under control will allow Alston to take its greens to a higher standard as surface drainage will be improved throughout the year. The thatch degrader will assist the mechanical operations being implemented and greater effect from this will be noticed once rain returns and further applications can be applied. As the thatch/ organic matter breaks down nutrients will be released and if it is a mild autumn then disease will be a possibility, so best to be planning ahead for your separate applications of iron sulphate and potassium phosphite to limit the need for costly fungicides.
On aeration, I think the use of the slitter during the autumn/winter and early spring followed by sarrel roller http://www.psmlawnmowers.co.uk/?pi=478702&i=478702&f=0&p=1&s=&Option+2=&Option+3=&Option+1=24%22&Quantity=1&VAT=1 during the main season. It may be possible to get one to fit the Cushman and I am sure Richard would manage this if the money can be found to purchase one second hand. Coring is best done in autumn when the season is nearly over and if these core holes can be filled with sand then a free draining surface is created for winter and this will aid thatch management over the longer term. This leaves the low lying areas on greens that are prone to flooding and for this the most cost effective approach will some deep hand forking – for those that take up this challenge then a free pie and pint may be required!
All in all, I have to say that Alston is doing a very good job taking into consideration the very limited resources and full credit has to be given to those who give up their time to develop the potential of the course for year round golf.
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0118 982 0567
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