We have had the best month over the winter period in terms of jobs completed, plan executed and positive feedback from the members.
Firstly we had a meeting on the 3/3/15 with kath Bentley from the S.T.R.I, she was very encouraged from what she saw, both on the course and the plan we have going forward. Her concerns were still on reducing the thatch layer, and thankfully our plan is fully focused on this. Kath has suggested that we target the localised wetter areas on some greens, this was amended to the plan and will go into detail further in this report. She stressed that the removal of thatch is imperative to us moving forward with the putting surfaces.
The greens were hand cut 6 times at 6mm, they were verti drained to 200mm and also penciled tined to 75mm. Twice this month we have been able to get topdressing on the greens, firstly we put a tonne of kiln dried sand on with the fertilizer spreader, this was concentrated on the wetter areas (I.e. Back left 4th), we also got 4 tonnes on with the large dresser. This was done after the verti draining, so hopefully some sand got down deep into the profile.
Now you see it, now you don’t!!
Thanks for keeping off these areas, all these areas should be back in play before the start of the season.
The greens were sprayed with an insecticide treatment, this was because we saw signs of bird damage on the greens. The birds were pecking the turf in search of ‘leather jackets’. Leather jackets are the larva of Crane flies, they lay their eggs in the turf in late autumn, it was a really bad year for us because of the mild temperatures all autumn/ winter, if you remember back there were hundreds on the clubhouse windows.
They are tiny worm like creatures. The two problems associated with leather jackets are that firstly, they live and feed on the grass roots, causing the turf to struggle and possibly die. Secondly birds hunt them, they peck at the turf, pulling out chunks to get to these pests. As the pictures show the problem should be over!
A third application of Rocastem (Penetrant wetting agent) was applied to the green. I think we are seeing the results of our winter wetting agent programme. Moisture results taken on the 5th of march show that on average the greens are 10% drier than when they were tested last april, hopefully by april they will be closer to 15-20% drier than the previous year.
Plans for this month.
This month is a massive month for us, major aeration work will take place to hopefully reduce the thatch layer in the greens giving us a drier/ firmer surface.
Firstly a 8-0-16 +2%Mg+4%Fe will be applied mid/ late next week. This will get the greens in a healthy state prior the next phase.
We intend to micro-core the wetter areas of some greens first (i.e. front 1st, back left 4th, front 6th etc) areas that are prone to hold water. We will then go over the area with the verti-drain to a depth of 300mm. The greens will then be heavily dressed with 10 tonnes of sand dressing.
The week after we will just verti-drain these areas, followed by the heavy dressing.
The week after that we will go back to what we did in the first week (core, VD, dress).
Unfortunately during this major surgery the greens will suffer slightly, due to use causing the surface to become unstable by taking out thatch. Everything will be done to get the surface back asap, plans are already in place on order of works and what is needed after.
The work will mainly be carried out on mon/tues, giving us plenty of time in the rest of the week to get the surface back. Works like this is essential to the progression of the greens.
Please follow us on twitter @ashtonleagreens, we do daily updates and also put on a few pics of jobs.
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Thanks for reading