It’s October, the playing season is over and the glories of the summer are a fading memory. For the Green Team the hard work starts now to try and create a green you will enjoy playing on.
Reducing the thatch
The first major task for the autumn was to bring in a contractor for the specialist work of heavy duty scarification, or linear aeration as they named it, followed by vert-draining.
The purpose of these operations was to significantly reduce the thatch layer and aerate the soil. Both play their part enabling the autumn treatments to penetrate the soil and be effective at amending the structure.
The first of the autumn treatments to be applied was ‘Mineral Traceolite’, a granular product spread onto the green and brushed into the holes created by the aeration. This is a long lasting mineral which relieves compaction, improves drainage and oxygen retention in the rootzone. It prevents waterlogging, hardens soft playing surfaces and improves fertiliser utilisation which increases growth and reduces fertiliser costs.
Our soil test revealed a distinct lack of calcium in the soil so a Granular Calcium Sulphate was also spread to correct the levels in our sandy rootzone for efficient nutrient uptake. Calcium strengthens the plant’s cell walls and physical structure.
Two spray treatments have been applied in October. The first was ‘Defender’ a turf hardener and autumn/winter bio-stimulant which promotes stress resistant, healthy grass. It hardens the plants against wear and enhances disease resistance. It also reduces the need for inorganic fertiliser. The second was ‘Compost Tea’ a highly concentrated microbial solution containing a wide range of bacteria, fungi, protozoa and beneficial nematodes that create healthy biologically active soil in which to grow healthy grass.
A lot of manual work has gone into hollow tining and cultivating the dreaded dry patches. Additional treatments were applied followed by hand seeding and repair with a sieved mix of fine soil and top dressing. Then green was rolled to bed in the seeds and now we just hope that the autumn weather is kind to us and we get some new green shoots showing before the winter sets in!
Of course, just to keep us busy, there is always the on-going seasonal job we all love …..
CLEARING THE LEAVES FROM THE GREEN AND BORDERS!!
Investing in equipment
The autumn tasks have been made a great deal easier by the investment the club has made in repairs to our trusty sprayer and the purchase of a new broadcast spreader.
The new spreader in particular has ensured we get an accurate and controlled application of granular treatments to the green surface. As we have known to our cost it is very easy to burn the grass using a spreader in poor condition.