April has been a varied month weather wise, with no rainfall but with temperatures ranging between 19 and -1 degrees. This means we have seen minimal growth on greens with the fine grasses and broad leaf grasses growing unevenly causing a bumpy surface. However throughout the month, we have continued to top dress on a weekly basis applying 3 tons of sand and brushing it in to true up any uneven surfaces.
The greens could not be fertilised as programmed as heavy rainfall is required for this. We use two fertilisers, a granular fertiliser and a liquid fertiliser. The granular fertiliser needs a while to dissolve or decompose before plants can access their nutrients. These need watering and without the desired rainfall couldn’t be spread or worked into the soil. Liquid fertilisers are concentrates or water soluble chemicals that contain nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and iron. They are easy to apply to lawns and plants. This needs to be applied with no wind. We have both fertilisers in stock and will be applying them as soon as possible.
The irrigation system has been commissioned and a new irrigation pump has been installed. Irrigation is a controlled method of watering at regular intervals, and it assists in growing the greens, general maintenance and during periods of inadequate rainfall. We are currently watering every other day for 4 minutes to keep within the strict Environment Agency water regulations. During drought periods we can water daily for a short period (1 week) and then return to every other day. New pop ups are being installed to greens with low pressure during the season.
This month the 11th tee has been turfed and had its first cut. The bunker on the 3rd green has been riveted and re-shaped and will be completed this month. All greens were Verti-Drained (putting holes in the putting green to allow air to get into the greens subsoil, to break up the thatch in the subsoil and allow the greens to drain properly) with 8mm tines to a depth of 125mm as part of our monthly aeration programme. Also a new buggy path has been built on the 8th hole and will be completed this month.
The greens height of cut has been lowered to 4.5mm and the fairways remain at 17mm (winter cut) until we have scarified and fertilised them in the next few weeks. All worn areas and the rough on the left hand side of the 6th hole will be fertilised during the next heavy rainfall.
To sum up, we have good grass coverage on the greens, tee’s and fairways and as soon as the weather stays consistent we can produce the golf course to the highest standard.