What a difference a few dry days and regular sunshine make to the golf course! We have had more dry days than wet over the last few weeks and together with a stiff drying wind the course has started to really dry out despite the storms and irregular downpours. The first storm knocked lots of debris out of the trees and some of the tops as well, which were a challenge to clear while the course was closed then the second storm actually really helped to dry the course.
We were lucky enough with the weather to be able to start cutting the fairways and showing some definition between the grass areas, and with surrounds and approaches and green rings all cut the course is beginning to come back to life.
Almost two weeks ago we had some de-compaction work done on the wet areas around and on the greens. This work not only sent a hollow tine into the ground but at the same time injected air around and down to a considerable depth, hence de-compacting the ground. Almost immediately the areas dried up and we are very happy with the results although it will take time and growth for the areas to fully repair. This type of work is new here and was done by our regular contractor who developed this particular machine and it may be worth considering having done again in late autumn to replace verti draining.
This week the weather was conducive to renovate tees so we under seeded, dressed and dragged in all of the poorer tees. We added a miycorrhizal coating to the grass seed which aids establishment, and helps growth in cold weather as well as adding soil nutrients and beneficial bacteria. We will add a high nitrogen fertiliser to the tees in the next month to encourage good solid growth and to try and get the new grass to fill in some of the barer areas.
Our jobs for the coming weeks will be to re-fertilise the greens so that we can encourage enough grass growth in order for us to then add a bigger top dressing in March to fill the dips and hollows then to start rolling and scarifying in mid-March to try to get the surface smoother and quicker.
As we know and as I’ve mentioned before, all the best laid plans can be thwarted by poor weather or a cold spell like the beast from the east last year which in it’s turn put progression back, and it is very early days at the moment anyway to be confident about course progress, but it is clear that the very early signs of spring are here!