Greens Renovation Work – 201710/11/2017
With each year that passes it is becoming increasingly evident that the seasons are changing. Recent springs have been cold and very unproductive leading into wet and inconsistent summers. Both of these scenarios are hugely challenging to course maintenance.
Autumn has experienced some of the greatest changes over the last number of years, with temperatures consistently milder producing unseasonable grass growth at least until Christmas, last winter we averaged a cut on the green surfaces every 10 days.
With the growth continuing at this time of year it is essential that sward refinement remains on the agenda as a combination of warmer temperatures, in
creased humidity and moisture will create a suitable environment for disease pressure to heighten.
Keeping the plant dry and healthy, whilst adding suitable nutrient levels is challenging and striking the correct balance can prove very difficult but care must be shown along with reluctance to get aggressive with some procedures. This is further complicated in our circumstances with the late season renovation work as we must up the nutrients applied to promote plant recovery.
As a result of a very productive year for organic matter allied with the fact our September organic matter readings were just above or marginally inside the 4 – 6% target zone, the decision was taken to graden our green and approach surfaces once again this October. The readings display a tremendous achievement in the reduction of our organic matter levels as the majority of our test greens were initially recorded between 11 and 12% just 5 years ago.
This was our fourth pass carried out with the graden and total of 560 tonnes of sand have now been applied to our green surfaces over the last 4 years. It was noticeable and recorded this season that our surfaces were firmer whilst draining increasingly better through sustained periods of moisture.
We have also recently experimented with a new over seeder. Sward refinement at Nairn is now coming to the forefront as we start to see an increase in the population of bent grass species across our putting surfaces. A suitable seeder could assist us in accelerating the process as we look to continue to integrate the new seed through the existing grass composition. This procedure was carried out during the course closure along with annual aeration work, 12mm tines down to a depth of 8 inches.
I would like to thank The Committee and Membership for their co-operation regarding the annual course closure. I must also thank the green-keeping team and volunteers for their considerable efforts to achieve all the scheduled work in the allocated days, when conditions and circumstances proved difficult, very much appreciated.