Bowls maintenance at the Warren

Dave Braceyin Bowls

Bowls Maintenance at The Warren


I recently sprayed the green to remove Clover and Parsley Piert, there were also a few patches of moss, not enough to warrant spraying the whole area, so I put some sulphate of Iron in a shaker container and hand treated the areas at about ¼ ounce per square yard.

These applications have now taken effect, and the weeds and moss have all but disappeared.

The crows have been quite active digging up parts of the green, indicating that there is a presence of leather jackets eating away at the roots. I am about to apply a second application of Lorsban-T to eradicate these pests.

During March the green has had extensive rolling to firm it back into place ready for the season. Up until recently, I had been alternating my spiking regime twice weekly between solid and chisel tines. I find that the chisel tine holes trap some moisture underbowlsgreen.jpg

Now I have cut back the spiking to once fortnightly, just with solid tines. I should add that all my working operations with machines are done corner to corner.

The green has just received a light summer preparation with some over seeding and top dressing to fill in a few scars left as a result of some thatch fungus. The Thatch fungus attack last summer resulted in some surface collapse, so the top dressing is to correct the green levels, prior to play. Any areas where the seed seeddibber2.jpg

I still top dress using the older methods as it avoids heavier machinery going on the green. I set up two string lines parallel to each other, just short in width of my wooden loot. The top dressing is then worked in using the loot over the string lines, until that length is complete. I then firm the dressing with a light roll. Once complete the lines are moved over a strip and I begin the process again, and so on until the green has had its dressing.

It sounds time consuming but actually doesn't take long once you start. This is how it should be done, similar to applying coats of paint. The top dressing that I prefer is an 80:20 root zone, that leaves a nice firm bowling surface. Because of the care taken in accurately dressing, the green will play similarly all over.

Following the top dress, all verti-cutting and scarifying operations will be carefully carried out to avoid any contact with the dressing, otherwise the surface will be disrupted, new seed disturbed and machines may be damaged.

I have maintained the height of cut through the winter months at 10mm, and am now gradually lowering the cut to 5mm over a series of cuts.

One of the major problems at the moment is the lack of rain, we have had no significant rain in over a month, and we are now having to irrigate to bring the green on and the new seedlings.

The green had a general purpose Spring feed of 12:4:3 at half rate a couple of weeks back, and I will look to give it a further feed in the middle of May.

Slightly off the subject of the playing surface, we are currently trialling some rubber crumb as a ditch infill. We have used 'Lytag'rubbercrumbfill.jpg

A more serious problem though is that the Lytag becomes contaminated with sand and soil dressings, it compacts and allows the woods to travel. The laws of the game say that when a wood drops into the ditch it should stop where it lands. The soft characteristics and cushioning quality of the rubber crumb allow the wood to do just that.

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