Thankfully, we had no major tree damage during these windy periods and the wind has done a fantastic job at drying out the ground surface once rainfall has moved through. `
From following the weather, we have had 46mm of evaporation so far this calendar year which I would consider to be quite high – we can blame sunny February for that! March is shaping up much like February with roughly 50mm having fallen at the halfway point of the month. February ended with 52mm having fallen.
The greens have recovered very well from the renovation work undertaken at the end of February. Overnight temperatures have been mild with few touches of frost and as I discussed last month, our bentgrass populations are actively growing and taking advantage of the early season.
Once the wind eases, we will be applying another feed of basic nutrition and soil conditioning to further promote this growth.
Focus will be on improving the approaches this season and through a dedicated topdressing programme, intensified aeration and an alteration in how we fertilise we are aiming for an increase in density of the turf plus an increase in the stress tolerance of these areas particularly through the peak of summer.
The fertility programme will follow the same idea as greens with the base of inputs being organic products including seaweed and compost type products that will increase soil health and aid plant root development. Topdressing will be more frequent although shifting to a little and often regime will impact little on golf playability.
Long rough management through grazing has been giving us fantastic results over the last two winters with a noticeable reduction if grass density and an increase in flower biodiversity being the result that we were looking for.
The last few areas for attention have been attended to by harrowing which rakes the long areas pulling out all excess vegetation and contributing to a reduction in the soil fertility. By reducing soil fertility we are creating a habitat that the grass species that are most desirable for us do best in, namely fescue, bent and vernal in addition to the range of wildflowers.
Additionally, as we reduce irrigation inputs we reduce soil moisture which again creates a habitat which best suits the species that are most desirable for our site. We will be carrying on with this programme of grazing at the end of the season with a grazing plan already pencilled in with our shepherd partners.
Thanks for your time reading and as ever don’t hesitate to collar me and ask about anything that may be on your mind regarding the golf course.