Spring renovations have been and gone, with the greens coming out of the other side in very good condition. We did things slightly different than planned, with a last minute decision to go with 18mm tines instead of 9mm.
We decided to do this because of how healthy the greens were going into the renovation weeks, we felt they were strong enough to cope with a more aggressive routine.
In total we tined them once and got a total of 45T of sand into the profile. Last year we tined 3 times getting 36T of sand into the profile.
In hindsight there are a few things i would do different to get an even better result, hire in a power brush and have all the sand on site prior to work commencing. This will happen in the autumn renovations (1st week of sept)
During the work we applied a feed to the greens to keep them strong, we used a product called ‘cold start’. It’s the 1st time we have used this and I was extremely happy with the response we got. 10 days ago we put on a second feed, this was a liquid that we used last year, like last year it is giving us good results.
Its been a strange start to the season weather wise. Although April is traditionally one of the driest months of the year, we are currently going through the driest April we have had in the last 10 years, 10.8mm!!! this time last we had 38.4 with only 4 dry days in April.
Even though we’ve had little cloud cover temperature have been average for this time of year, with night time temps 2deg higher than this time last year, this has helped with growth. We have had steady growth to start with, although we could do with a little more!!
This chart shows us where we are against last years growth. According to our data we are tracking around 3 weeks ahead in terms of growth potential, from a personal point of view I would say this isn’t far off. In fact we are roughly where we were on the 7/8th of May last year. We are taking off a good box of clippings every cut this year.
This chart is purely April growth potential, this year we have a cumulative figure of 5.11 opposed to 3.86 last year, a figure of 0.4 would give you good growth in a day.
We are aware that the greens a a little bobbly at the minute, mainly because of the different grass species in the sward growing at different rates. The Poa, which is dominant in the greens has yet to ‘kick off’ properly. We are brushing when cutting to stand the grass up giving us a better cut, the little and often top dressing will also even out the surface. Height of cut is currently at 4.75mm, this will be taken down further to 4.5mm this week. Summer height will be 4mm.
The long range forecast we receive shows us that the cold spell will last until mid next week, then on Tues/Weds (2nd/3rd May) the temperatures will improve greatly to late teens early 20’s, just like last year.
The only moan we have is the number of pitchmarks we see on a daily basis, please repair your pitchmarks as they have a detrimental effect on the putting surface.
Our summer aeration plan will kick off this week with solid tining and a light dressing this Tuesday, this will help smooth out and bobbling. Hopefully weather dependent we will spray the greens Weds with seaweed and a wetting agent.
Thanks for reading, please follow us on twitter @ashtonleagreens, this will give you daily reports on the state of the course and updates of what we are doing.
We also have a facebook page, search for Ashton and Lea greens. Please like the page and ask your golfing friends to like the page, make them aware of the good things we are doing and producing.
We are now also posting pictures on Instagram, search for ashtonleagreens, you should find us.
Any concerns or opinions on what we are doing please contact us directly on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks, Mark Shuttleworth ,(Deputy Head Greenkeeper)