As we move closer to the first week of October and our Autumn renovations I think its a good time to outline the process of works we will be undertaking. Firstly, why do we cause all this disruption to the greens? The simple answer is that we need to in order to continually improve the greens.
We recently had the greens tested for organic matter (thatch) content, with the results coming back with a surprise.
The greens I expected to have the higher organic matter content, such as the 2nd and 4th that are predominately the wetter greens actually came back with the lower percentage. In general the percentage of organic matter we have in the greens is too high with recommendations being between 2.5%-3%. The results above show that all the greens require work to bring the percentages down to within recommendations but that they are not excessively high with exception of the 13th, I feel this is an encouraging result.
With this in mind we have set out the following works to be completed as part of Autumn renovations.
We will verticut the greens to a 2mm depth. This has been an excellent tool throughout the season to help refine the putting surfaces, creating less resistance on ball roll and greatly increasing greens performance. Verticutting before applying large amounts of sand helps integrate the sand into the grass sward producing smoother surfaces.
Then we will verti-drain the greens using an 18mm solid tine aiming for maximum depth of 250mm (10inches). This helps to relieve compaction in the sub soil and also creates drainage channels from the surface down past any compaction which further aids drainage.
A heavy topdressing will then follow that will be brushed down into the holes created. The more sand we can move down into the tine holes, the longer those drainage channels will remain open below the surface aiding drainage.
The next stage in hollow coring with a 13mm hollow tine to a depth of 100mm (4inches). Whoever said you have to break eggs to make omelettes was clearly talking about hollow coring. It’s disruptive, time consuming, damaging to turf grass health and takes longer to recover than any other form of aeration….. BUT the benefits are undeniable in terms of organic matter reduction,drainage and the transferral of material to the sub soil. This is why courses all over the world use this method and why we will continue to do so until we have our organic matter content within target range.
Another heavy topdressing is then applied and brushed in aiming to fill as many core holes as possible. At this stage we aim to apply the most topdressing because the bigger holes allow for a larger volume of sand which will firm up the greens but also improve the build up of the sub surfaces.
The final stage is to finish with the verti-drain using a 13mm solid tine to a maximum depth of 250mm (10inches). This creates even more drainage channels but with the added benefit of closing up the previous tine holes from the bigger 18mm solid tine and 13mm hollow tine. This greatly aids recovery and should see the surfaces return to their normal standards quicker.
During the period that we will be carrying out the work, some winter greens will be in use and we thank you for your patients during this time.