Coronavirus Update – April 2020

A big thank you to all members for the donations made in lieu of membership subscriptions this year. Your contributions have enabled us to place an order for the treatments necessary to keep the green in good shape throughout the summer.

For our part we have reviewed the planned maintenance programme in the light of our financial constraints and the changed circumstances at the green. This has resulted in savings of over £300, without jeopardising progress with green renovation.

Fortunately green maintenance work is permitted under government guidelines so Mike and Gary have split the work between them and are going down to the green following an agreed work plan which is compliant with social distancing rules.

Without the demands a bowling season normally places on the green we have moved to a programme based on slow release granular fertilisers which means the grass will grow at a slower but steady pace and we can reduce mowing to once a week. A benefit of keeping the grass longer is that root growth is strengthened through an increase in chemical energy from photosynthesis. We continue to use some liquid treatments targeted at improving the soil quality.

This time is giving us the chance to continue work on the corners which, as you may recall, proved to be a challenge through the year.

In October we investigated why it was proving so difficult to get new grass to take in the corner bare patches. We found the corners contained a significant amount of sand which created a poor environment for seed germination and sustaining healthy grass.

The corners were dug out and  new soil added before seeding, however the wet weather was against us and despite having the corners under plastic covers for periods we were unable to fully establish new grass in the more persistent bare patches.

With the better weather now and a continuation of sunshine and showers, we are hoping that we will succeed in bringing the corners up to the standard of the rest of the green.

With weather patterns increasingly unpredictable we have also started to introduce greater control into the irrigation of the green. This means monitoring the rainfall landing on the green and the rate at which moisture evaporates from the green. Tracking these two factors allows us to work out more accurately when we need to irrigate to maintain the right level of moisture in the green. Many greens are still recovering from the 2018 hot summer. We have also installed a number of water butts which provide water for all our spraying.

Regrettably, the normally lovely garden borders we all enjoy have to fend for themselves without the weekly tending from our volunteers.

Just before the season was due to open we had a ‘hoe down’ morning with volunteers coming to the green to prepare the borders for the summer – it would be great to have another effort from members when we are given the go ahead to open again.

Have your fork/hoe on standby, we’ll let you know

We’ll continue to keep you updated on progress and monitor government briefings to keep our club policy current. Looking forward to the day when we can play bowls again.           

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