Friday, January 9, 2015

13 River green is 8 weeks old today and is continuing to progress.  The rear section of the green is a little slower establishing but is improving every day.  At this stage there is no doubt that the green will be open at the predicted 12 week timeline and for the first month or so may only be in play 3 or 4 days a week to ensure it is as healthy as possible heading in to winter.  

Well it seems we have a traditional summer on our hands with lots of moisture coupled with the heat promoting massive grass growth across the courses.  The greens, tees and fairways on both courses are treated with a plant growth regulator and thank heavens they are.  The product is so good that we rarely get any clumps of grass clippings left after fairway mowing which is quite a feat and the colour and general turf health is improved.  The fairway application generally lasts 4 weeks with the greens being treated every 2 weeks at reduced rates.  One of the other benefits of the product is that it stops seedhead production which helps the surface and mowing quality.  The tees are due for their application next week and already you can see some seedhead visible on the tees as the product effect wears off.

Another product effect occurred on the West greens this past week when they were treated with a herbicide which caused quite a bit of dis-colouration via a leaf burn but they are well on the road to recovery.  The recent real summer weather does have the West greens stressing which is usual for this time of year and it is more important than ever to repair pitch marks to prevent the damaged area becoming a disease infection site.  The other thing that becomes very noticeable is the invasive couchgrass which is at its strongest at this time of year and very noticeable.

This is a previous post on the blog but it is still current for the situation we find ourselves in at the moment;

The heat and humidity of the past weeks and what will be coming in the near future certainly puts a strain on the West Course greens.  The greens are bentgrass and it is known as a cool season variety which means it is very out of place in a sub tropical climate and at this time of year goes under quite a deal of stress and a lot of its problems are accentuated.  Particularly the foreign grass invasion and particularly the foreign couchgrass.  This is not a new problem and there are some excerpts from CTH Board minutes from as long ago as 1980 which also include discussions about replacing the greens.  There is only one product registered to control the invading couchgrass and I use that quite extensively however it is unable to fully control all the different varieties so it really just acts as a suppressant for us.  Hand weeding is carried out continually in an effort to pull the runners but with the resources available I just can't keep up.  The blue and mullumbimby couch and carpetgrass that also invade are either hand weeded or spot sprayed.  The product that is available to control these pests can have quite a detrimental effect on the bentgrass particularly at this time of year when they are under so much climatic stress.  One needs to tread very carefully with application of any products to the greens including water and fertiliser.  


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