Bring on the warmer weather and nice amounts of rain.
Coming out of a hard winter there is an ideal opportunity to boost the health of the turf when growth starts again. Well timed Scarification can promote healthy growth, tackle disease (help prevent fungal diseases) and make the turf less susceptible to attack by pests and also help reduce localised dry patch and remove excess thatch.
Scarifying (photo left) also removes unwanted lateral growth and some of the dead plant material and opens up the surface for the topdressing sand to mesh into. Slicing the grass surface helps encourage the fine grass to grow upright resulting in a faster surface – balls roll across the surface easier.
Excess thatch also encourages the grass to form a shallow root system. Thatch is the result of a build up of organic matter and is comprised of dead grass, leaves, shoots and roots. With excess thatch build up the slower the surface drain.
Hollow Tyneing (coring the greens) follows the scarification process. It’s part of a sand/top dressing exchange and compaction relief work.
After coring, organic fertiliser and greens grade sand is top dressed onto the greens and rubbed in with a wire mat. There is a fine balance in deciding how much sand can be put on in one application to fill core holes and allowing golf to continue as usual as soon as practical. The top dressing sand should be as close as possible to that used previously on the green. Mowing heights need to be increased while sand is still on the green surface with regular rub-ins with a mat towed behind a mower.
A new 120m2 nursery green has been built up on top of the hill using the stolons removed from the greens during the scarifying process. If patches don’t strike we will then use the corings taken from greens.
Paul Dawson – Greens Supervisor