The weather has been a challenge over the last two weeks to say the least, with damaging frosts and heavy rain topped off with very high winds, meaning it has been difficult to keep to our pre-season schedule. The pre-season vertidraining and lightdressing on our greens was all booked in for 13th/14th of February but a last minute decision to bring forward this work to try to firm up the greens before the expected deluge has proofed very successful, giving us playable greens and considerably fewer wet areas just a few days after storm Ciara.
Over the next weeks we will be applying cold start fertilisers to the greens to try and get the lower-growing grass to rise up and level with the others so that we have enough growth for a full dressing to be held between and eventually so that we can start lowering the cutting height and level up the grass then vibro rolling the greens in the build up to Easter.
We can now dress, seed, and fertilise the tees providing the weather is ok in the next two weeks. Having restricted their use through the wettest periods we are in a slightly better position to undertake this work. As I mentioned in my last update we are very dependant on the weather here and it can work for or against us; a couple of sunny days doesn’t mean spring is coming and last year this proved detrimental as we were hit with low temperatures in mid to late spring that slowed growth and we were very late getting into full swing. We are dependent on grass growth to enable us to cut areas at different heights and provide definition along with firm ground conditions in order for the machines to be able to access certain areas. A period of frost and low temperatures will generally slow or stop grass growth and it can be frustrating for players and greenkeepers but I have to remind myself we are still in February and we still could see snow and adverse winter weather before we get a chance to prepare a summer course.