The Greensman's Year section is here to help the greensman by giving a handy month by month guide to looking after your turf. If you have any questions or need help to carry out any of the activities outlined then call Peter Cotton at Turfgear on 07952 060657 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The start of a new New Year
- You should mow the green as necessary.
- Mowing at 9mm will prevent the sward from thinning and encouraging the spread of moss.
- Don’t allow leaves or litter to lay on the green where they can damage the turf.
- Switch the green if heavy dew is present to reduce the likelihood of disease.
- Service the mower ready for the new season.
- Ask TURFGEAR to take a soil sample for you. We can then decide on a suitable programme for the year.
A time to keep a watchful eye
- Look out for disease. You will need a contact fungicide at this time of year.
- Rooks, Crows, Magpies, Starlings and Seagulls on the Green usually mean you have Leatherjackets.
- Spray for Pests & Diseases at the earliest signs.
- If you don't have the right equipment then call TURFGEAR to do it for you.
- Aerate the Green using solid tines. Continue to mow at the Winter setting of 9mm.
The new bowling seasons draws near
- Apply lawn sand or a granular feed containing a high percentage of iron at the start of the month.
- Leave for 2-3 weeks for the moss to blacken before scarifying.
- Apply your first granular fertiliser dressing. Begin to lower the mower cutter height, aim to achieve 6mm by the start of the season.
- Apply a quality wetting agent such as DownPore at the end of the month, before you get 'Dry Patch'.
- Aeration should continue throughout the season using solid tines.
- You should only use slit tines between September and early March.
Mowing between the showers
- Switch or brush to remove dew and prevent disease.
- Mow regularly, keeping the height of the cut at 6mm if possible. Use a grass comb on the mower.
- Continue to aerate using needle tines or with a Sarel spiker.
- Check soil temperatures. Once the soil has warmed up sufficiently you can carry out small area renovation.
- April and May is a good time to sow grass seed. Prepare the area by spiking, then apply a mixture of Seed and Turf Top Dressing, finally rubbing over with a Lute to maintain levels.
- Apply a liquid feed between granular fertiliser applications. Feeds containing Seaweed are useful.
- Check for disease and apply a fungicide if necessary.
- Consider biological methods of controlling disease (BioLift).
Everything is great and green
- Continue to remove dew.
- Mow frequently. The height cut can be lowered to 5mm but be prepared to raise it if we experience a dry spell.
- Aerate regularly.
- Check for disease and apply a fungicide if necessary. Continue to apply DownPore monthly.
- There is still some time to sow grass seed and do small area renovation.
- Apply a Summer granular fertiliser.
- Apply selective weedkiller by sprayer or spot treat with an aerosol, taking care not to overdose.
- Liquid iron products such as Ferrosol can be combined with seaweed foliars like Seamac to both feed and enhance the colour of the turf.
A time to water
- Aerate using needle tines or with a Sarel Spiker.
- Treat localised 'Dry Patch' areas as they arise using DownPore through a hose feeder gun.
- Irrigate the green if necessary, ensuring you give sufficient water to thoroughly wet the soil profile. Too little water does more harm than good.
- Watering should be done early in the morning or late in the afternoon/early evening to avoid scorching.
- Apply a liquid fertiliser.
- Resist calls from bowlers to lower the height of cut below 5mm in the mistaken belief that it will speed up Greens. Putting grass under stress will result in Annual Meadowgrass seeding profusely, scalping of high spots and increased risk of Dry Patch. Moss and weed grasses will take hold and eventually the Green will become slower as a result.
- Verticutting is the smart way to speed up Greens. Ask TURFGEAR about carrying out verticutting on your Green.
More of the same
- Aerate when possible.
- Continue to irrigate the green if necessary.
- Apply a Summer granular fertiliser when rain is expected. If we are experiencing drought conditions then liquid feeds should be applied to avoid the risk of scorch or disruption of play that granular fertilisers can cause.
- Apply DownPore.
- Difficult to control weeds may require a 2nd application of a turf selective weedkiller.
Good for Green speeds poor for grass
- Aerate and Irrigate the Green as necessary.
- Apply a liquid fertiliser.
- Contact TURFGEAR about your Autumn renovation. September and October are the months for renovation work. The earlier the better in order to get newly sown grass seed to germinate and establish.
- If you would like us to carry out part or full renovation of your Green then we need to know early as we get booked up very quickly in these months.
- If you have moss on the Green then you should apply Lawn Sand a couple of weeks before the end of the season.
The end of the season cometh!
- Ask us to take a soil sample and prepare a report.
- Carry out Autumn renovation work as soon as your season finishes.
- Decide which method of aeration is appropriate. Solid Tining, Hollow Coring or Verti-Draining.
- Follow with deep scarification and apply a good quality fescue/bent grass seed mixture like our BG1 or try Green Baize, a mixture containing 50% of the new Dwarf Ryegrass varieties that can be cut to 5mm. This mixture has good wear resistance and colour.
- Finally apply Turf Top Dressing using a rotary spreader. We advise purchasing our bagged (25kg) Top Dressing rather than bulk (1 tonne) bags. Small bags are easier to handle and you can keep them dry (wet Top Dressing is impossible to spread).
- TURFGEAR can undertake full or part renovation of your Green, or simply supply the materials you need.
- Check regularly for signs of disease as the next few months are often warm and wet, providing perfect conditions for the spread of disease.
Time to watch your new grass grow
- Still time for Autumn renovation.
- You can sow grass seed up to the end of the month.
- Only apply an Autumn & Winter fertiliser once your new grass has germinated and is growing strongly as many fertilisers contain iron which can have a stunting effect on young grasses.
- An application of Wetting Agent to see you through the Winter would be advisable.
- Check regularly for signs of disease. Raise the height of cut on the mower to a winter setting of 9mm. That’s the thickness of 3 pound coins under the setting screw on your measuring bar.
- You need to continue to mow the grass regularly to prevent it from becoming too long and the sward thinning.
- Remove leaves and debris from the Green regularly.
Christmas round the corner
- Crane Fly eggs will now have turned into the larval stage known as Leatherjackets. They are capable of doing enormous damage to your turf by eating grass roots.
- Large birds such as Rooks, Crows, Magpies and Seagulls will also damage the turf in their hunt to find them. November is a good time to treat them with an insecticide.
- Continue to mow the Green as necessary at 9mm.
- Check for disease. Call TURFGEAR to identify diseases if you are unsure. You should use a contact fungicide at this time of year.
- Make plans for updating your machinery and equipment. Good planning and research can often result in you receiving substantial grants for your Club. Remember if you don’t ask you don’t get.
Finally, enjoy your Christmas and have a good rest because you have it all to do again next year!