Hi everyone and welcome to the new Greenkeeper’s blog.
These regular updates will hopefully inform you all of the tasks that we are doing on the course and what is in mind for the future.
We are now entering winter and the grass has now slowed down. It has been a very long growing season with us cutting fairways up until last week and greens at least 3 times a week in the last month.
We have recently found some bright yellow patches on the 16th green. I have never seen anything like this before. It didn’t look like our usual range of diseases that we get on the course so decided to get the patches tested. The laboratory told us that we had a plant parasitic nematode infection.
There are 2 main types of plant parasitic nematodes, Ectoparasites that live in the rootzone and feed on the cell content of the plant by inserting a feeding tube in to the plant cells and Endoparasites that live inside the plant tissues feeding also on the plant cells. We have both!
Nematode infection leads to reduced root depth, reduced root quality and reduced nutrient and water uptake. This explains the colour deficiency (chlorosis) and general decline of the plant health in the greens.
The treatment for these pests is firstly cultural so we have tined and slit the greens. We have also sprayed the greens with a cold temperature extract seaweed biostimulant and a plant elicitor called Harpin. Harpin Protein was initially developed for the agricultural market where it has shown itself to promote yields and most importantly, maximise the efficacy of fungicide treatments by encouraging stronger, healthier growth. The mode of action of Harpin is complemented in the TeMag HPE product formulation by the addition of chelated iron and magnesium for enhanced colour (photosynthesis) and a full range of micronutrients to prevent potential deficiencies limiting growth. These specialist products are especially designed to promote recovery from stress by encouraging the plants natural defense system.
We have noticed considerable improvements in these areas since we performed these tasks.
Some of the greens are becoming yellow due to the low light levels at this time of year and stress due to it being cold. We have experimented on the 4th and 5th greens with a granular autumn/winter feritliser with the hope of improving the colour and to promote some healthy growth. This has worked well so we will do all of the greens later this week.
Some of you will have noticed that we have had a tree surgeon in at the end of last week to lower the crowns on the oak trees in front of the 10 tee. Hopefully this will be better for all golfers. We have started trimming lower branches and shaping the bushes around the course. This will be an ongoing task over the next few weeks.
Most of the fairways have been aerated over the last few weeks. We have tined them to a depth of about 8″ where ground conditions allow. This will improve the drainage and root growth on the fairways.
We are going to reinstate the mat area on the 10th tee. This was taken away as it was deemed dangerous when people were teeing off the old 8th. Balls quite regularly bounced off the concrete and there was concern for people teeing off on the old 9th. A new designated area will allow the grass tee to recover over the winter. We are also going to put a permanent place for a mat on the 5th tee. This will also allow the grass tee to recover.
Back again next week with another update.
Keep it green!