Friday, April 15, 2011

Cool nights at last

A little nicer on the weather front this week and it has now cooled down sufficiently to be able to aerate the West greens.  Unless the weather turns particularly foul the greens will be verti drain aerated commencing this coming Sunday afternoon and completed on Monday.  We will try and avoid any interference with the Members comp. on Monday but there will no doubt be some.  The verti drain is a tractor mounted aerating machine capable of penetrating up to 12 inches with both hollow tynes, which remove a core of soil, or solid tynes which literally spike the profile leaving a hole on the surface.  In the case of the West greens I will be looking for about 8½ inches with a solid tyne.  There are a few reasons why the greens are done;
  • Primarily to relieve compaction.  The greens haven't been "opened" up since August last year and are severely compacted at present.  This is evidenced by even a light shower of rain causing water to pool on the surface. 
  • Allows air to get to the roots and gives the roots a channel in which to grow.
  • Allows for some fertliser to get to where the roots need it.
The reason the greens haven't been done until now is that they dry out very quickly once opened so the cooler weather we are experiencing now is the perfect time.  It is also necessary to leave the greens open to allow for the air exchange and the greens will only be rolled following the aeration.  The other reason for this is that the verti drain softens the surface and if the mowers went over the greens too soon we would have severe wheel marking which can take months to grow out.  The disruption to play once the machine has finished is minimal and the photo below shows what to expect on Monday

Trial run on nursery green today

A decision has been made to remove some trees (including several declared environmental pest Cadaghi trees) at the rear of the 9th West green.  The trees are interfering with the maintenance of turf on the green by causing too much shade, tree root invasion and dropping of leaf and seed pod debris.  The trees are also having a serious impact on the playability of the bunkers on the 4th River green and also by dropping debris on the 4th River green itself.
It is expected that the increase in sunlight and air movement will greatly improve the turf quality on the 9th West green which has been slowly deteriorating over the past few years.
The Board will assess the result on adjacent turf areas, particularly the 9th West green, in consideration of further tree removal where the turf growth is being severely impacted elsewhere on the courses.

The effect of shade on the health of turf is plain to see in many areas on the courses, particularly near buggy paths and most certainly on selected greens and tees and is the reason several tees on both courses were oversown this week.   Tree roots also cause problems and the photo below clearly shows how much effect tree roots have on turf growth and health.  It is a photo of the RHS of 14 River fairway where a trench was dug for some irrigation and the subsequent green up and turf improvement on the fairway side of the trench is significant.

Tree roots trenched out

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