This time of year turf always looks at its worst, yellow and patchy. Turf is trying to grow but hasn’t got enough temperature or daylight to begin growing consistently. Although soil temperatures are on the increase, today the soil temp of the greens hit 10 degrees during the day for the first time. At night though temperatures are dropping and are going as low as 6. We really need to see double figures for strong growth.
Spring renovation and fertilisation is really important, over-seeding has been completed on all greens. The seed will germinate in soil temperatures as low as 9 degrees so we should see germination as temperatures start to increase over the next few weeks.
Stage one of the renovation works was to overseed the greens with fescue. The picture shows the overseeding lines from the new over-seeding machine with very little disturbance left.
Stage two, aeration took place to release any compaction in the top layer aiding the seed with moisture and air.
Stage three, the greens are rolled and 5 tons of topdressing applied which is then drag matted in. Leaving a good surface with hardly any disturbance. This process was completed in 2 days.
The final stage is to fertilise the greens which is especially important. Lawn sand will be used to slowly break the winter dormancy without supplying too much fertility as soil temperatures are still low. The iron content of the lawn sand acts as a turf hardener and will add color to the surfaces. When lawn sand is first applied it generally has a burning effect on the thicker bladed grasses, moss and weeds such as Parsley Piert. It also has an acidifying effect to the soil which encourages the finer grasses. Another benefit is that it also discourages worms which can no longer be managed through chemical application. The downside however is that the greens can look blackened and foot prints and wheel marks from machinery can be seen as black marks although this will soon grow out and will give much more benefits in the long term.