Last week went well with top dressing applied to all the greens. This was done for the first time using the same sand but with the addition of compost to the dressing.
As many of you will be aware, our intentions are to promote the fine perennial grasses of fescue and bent to dominate our putting surfaces. The environment that the grasses grow in dictates the species that take up the putting surface and in recent years we have worked towards firm free drainaging surfaces that are more conducive to growing the bent and fescue grass species.
However, that is more related to the physical make up of the greens and now that is where it needs to be, another important factor is soil biology.
For example, the best environment for fine perennial grasses is that found on ancient links land. Obviously being on sand gives the naturally free draining conditions to any area of links land, but also in that sand is humus (organic compost material) that has built up over centuries. This humus is what enables the turfgrass to survive as it holds all the important goodness required for healthy turfgrass.
This is ultimately the environment we are trying to emulate, so in order to do so we have to now introduce some well decayed humus to the greens. This will help the soil retain more of the important nutrients, it will improve the soils ability to retain moisture during dry periods and it will help important microorganisms to multiply giving the turf more of a natural defence against pathogens within the soil.
Although applying the composted material to the greens is a little messy, the benefits will far out way the negatives!
The week ahead will consist of lots of mowing and surfaces preparations. There are still a few problems for us to address and we’ll continue to pick these jobs off as we go through the weeks.
These are now only isolated problems though with a couple of bunkers to rebuild, a few areas of damaged turf to repair and newly planted gorse areas to keep watered and de-weeded.
Have a great week