by Carl Crocher, Course Manager
Maintenance week has become an essential fixture in our Greenkeeping Calendar but need not signal the end of the season. Indeed, its only week three in August, with much to play for, not least the Finals weekend.
The majority of good Clubs now use this period of time, from the beginning of August to the middle of September to complete these essential works. Overseeding, to improve the sward content has become a major part of these renovations, and this goes hand in hand with keeping our surface organic matter (thatch) in check. We saw a minor increase from the wet winter and this needed addressing to bring it back towards the STRI recommended guidelines.
We are in the midst of that week again, so what have we done since Monday?
The old greens have had 8mm solid tines down to 150mm then they have been overseeded lightly with Fescue, thanks to the Clubs recent purchase of our own overseeder. We will use it to also apply some Bent seed later in the week.
This is the best time of the year to apply Bent seed, the soils are warm which they require and the day lengths are now shortening, which helps. Ideally some warm showery weather over the next 10 days would be the ideal, but we can irrigate if needed. We have chosen to put Fescue in at the same time, though this will be sown deeper as it’s a much bigger seed. If it’s in the ground now we don’t need to disturb the surfaces again before the end of the season.
The short game area greens have been deep scarified to remove some of the high level of OM that you find in commercially grown turf. They were then overseeded with Bent into the scarification lines and have had a pass with Fescue today. The 9th, 13th and 18th were cored first, the cores then broken up and worked back in before the OM was blown off and collected. These were also overseeded with Fescue and we managed to get the 8th and 14th greens done in the same manner. Today they have had a further light dressing, brush and iron to smooth the surfaces, the forecast rain later would make this a very good day.
We still have the rest of the sand construction to complete before the weekend, 1 to 3, 7, 12, 15 and 17.
Ideally we will carry out the same process as on 8 and 14, i.e. Dress, core, leave to dry, smash up with verticuts, work back into the holes, clear debris and collect, overseed with Fescue, 3 passes of the machine, work in seed with dewie brushes, dress, brush and iron.
We have also solid tined the surrounds and we hope to have verticut some of the tees before we’re done. The surround of the short game greens has been cored and dressed. The tees will be dressed after aeration and as the recovery of the approaches kicks in these will require some real TLC after this summer unprecedented drought.