After a very cold start to the year putting growth conditions back on average five weeks, the year weather wise has been very good, we have had a growth flush mid to the end of August with warm moist conditions, now into September and October it has gone cooler and the grass growth has slowed.
The fertiliser input this year has been minimal keeping the annual meadow grass under stress helping the bent sward to get the upper hand, when conditions were dry we hand watered when possible targeting localised dry areas this helps the bent grass as it needs far less water than the shallow rooting annual meadow grass.
We have overseeded with bent in July
and we will again in Sept this will help to keep the seed bank up.
The results of the Koro deep scarifier are good and I think this should be put into our maintenance program.
We have been slitting the greens for the past two months on a weekly basis with our Sisis star slitter this helps to keep the top 15mm of the surface open and seems to be helping after some very heavy rain early morning there was very little standing water on any of the greens apart from the 7th where we have a problem with water holding in the bowl mid green verti draining with the 12mm tines did remove this, but long term some work is needed here.
The greens seem to be firm even after heavy rain this shows there is far less organic matter build up (THATCH) this is mainly due to the fact we have put 95 tons of top dressing on the greens in 2013 unto now.
This has however caused us some problems with our greens mower cutting units a problem that we need to address (new greens brushes). We have virti drained more the greens which does not cause much disruption to the surface but is a big benefit to help relieve compaction and aid drainage.
I would like to verti drain the 1st 5th 7th 9th 10th 11th 12th 16th 17th 18th and putting greens with the 25mm larger tines this has a massive benefit to aeration going into winter.
The 2nd 3rd 4th 6th 8th 13th 14th 15th would be hollow tined.
I have sprayed the greens with fungicide to combat fusarium and anthracnose this might need to be done again as it rained soon after, 24 hours with no rain is ideal so this will be monitored.
Worm casts on the greens were a problem for a short time and I have sprayed with castaway, which lasts about a month.
I am going to spray an insecticide to combat leather jackets this will be done in late Nov when the grubs are small.
The tees need to have some work to help them to recover from the dry summer. Scarify, verti drain, over seed, will help them recover, we will start this work late September early October. They would benefit from top dressing if budget permits approx £1,500
The fairways will be scarified in the next few weeks.
Verti draining of the fairways would be of benefit this would need to be carried out by a contractor if budget permits approx £650
We have just taken delivery of the Amazon flail collector. I think this will be of great benefit to thin out the rough, in time we should be able to leave the rough longer and not cut as often.
It will also help in the removal of leaves from the course.
Bunker remodel on 4th 17th holes.
If we decide to start this job, we need to move soil from the 10th spinney where we have a stockpile as soon as possible, carting tons of soil after the weather breaks will cause damage to the course.
The work will need to be finished before Christmas so the turf will be knitted for the start of the season.Wintergreens will have to be used from start until spring. This work might stop some other jobs being carried out and general course tidiness might suffer for a while, from mid October until Christmas is a major time for leaf removal.
Costs all approx ---
Turf 600m2 @ £3.00 m2 -- £ 1,800
Bunker matting --- 300m2 @ £22.00m2 -- £ 6,600
Drainage pipe in stock Gravel --£300.00
Sixth green bunker matting 60m2 @ £22.00m2 -- £1,320
Second green bunker matting 80m2 @ £22.00m2 -- £1,760
Bunker sand for the above £600.00
Irrigation Dave Mitchell from osprey irrigation will give a full report on our existing system and costs on repairs to make it fully operational Cost -- £500.00
Dave our summer 6th man will be finishing at the end of this month, I would like to say what big help it is having him.