Saturday, March 12, 2011

Growth Regulator

We use a growth regulator during the summer months particularly on the fairways but also on greens on both courses.  The fairways are treated monthly from about September thru to April.  Indeed they are just receiving the final application for this year.  The growth regulator has a number of benefits such as;
  • Eliminating seedhead.
  • Reducing vertical turf growth by approximately 60% whilst using plant energy and resources to encourage side shoots and particularly the root system.
  • Fines the leaf of the turf plant down which results in an improved surface and a smoother ball roll on the greens.
  • Reduces clippings meaning a much cleaner mowing job.
  • Reduces mowing frequency.  We can get away with as little as two mowings per week on the fairways.
  • Reduced mowing frequency means less fuel used and with diesel fuel on the rise the savings are considerable.
  • Assists in keeping thatch under control.
  • Improved colour.
The photos below show a strip that was missed and the resultant effect on the surface and the appearance of the turf.

Missed strip on 18th River fairway

Close up of missed area scalped and unsightly

The product is also used on greens and although the difference is not as pronounced on the surface as on the fairways, it is an integral part of greenkeeping, especially on the Couch River greens.  On the Bentgrass West greens the product assists in keeping Wintergrass (Poa annua) under contol as well as assisting root growth.  The photo below shows the effect that the product has on Bentgrass roots with the turf plug at the top of the photo treated and the bottom untreated.

Effect of growth regulator on Bentgrass roots

The tees have responded well to the recent fertiliser and have a great cover of grass heading towards winter.  The downside of this is the Wood Ducks feeding on the lush turf and the resultant droppings.  This is one of the reasons I try not to overfeed the golf course because as soon as there is any juicy turf available the ducks are straight on to it and as they are one of the most prolific spreaders of weed seeds, we then create another problem for ourselves with weed eradication.

Wood Ducks feeding on 13 west tee

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