Voice of a Greenkeeper: April 2019 Tips

Date: 04/04/19

Most courses have had differing results with their spring renovations following the recent variations in conditions, and the severity of the damage from last year. We must be mindful of this as we move the course forward over the next few weeks.

The clocks springing forward giving us an hour more at the end of the day, temperatures should be getting a bit higher and we hope to see some more consistent and even growth as the plant starts to photosynthesize. We need to be careful not to cut to low and reduce the leaf area that can uptake energy through this process.

We must also try not to push too much nitrogen that will encourage soft growth and disease pressure. Some good bio stimulants and fulvic will help stimulate the plant and encourage microbial activity helping the plant uptake nutrients and oxygen, and give the soil biology a kick start.

As the temperatures rise, more and more are now using compost teas applied as a soil drench after a solid tine or sarel roller aeration. This increases the microbial activity in the rootzone that will help the breakdown of organic matter and improve disease resistance, inoculating the rootzone with good biology.

Continue with light aeration encouraging new root growth, helping the movement of air and water whilst increasing oxygen levels in the profile. Light topdressings will improve smoothness and firmness moving into the start of the season. Do not be tempted to drop the cut to level out the varying inconsistencies in different cultivars’ early season growth.

Some light scarification will help to clean the surface where different cultivars are growing at different rates. This will also help to remove any moss that may have come in on weak areas.

This process may also be used on tees and fairways that suffered with last year’s heat and drought stress.

Machines should have all been serviced, sharpened and ready for the season. Following last year‘s conditions, now would be a good time to get you irrigation system primed up and ready to use if needed.

We will now see competitions and visitors increasingly looking to play on the best surfaces as we move through April into May. Just be mindful of the conditions and do not push too hard to soon.

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