January Bowls Diary 2009

Laurence Gale MScin Bowls

RansomesBowls.jpgThere are many jobs you can undertake during January. Firstly, it's important to ensure you are carrying out your daily brushing to keep the surface clean and, at the same time, remove any early morning dews. Keeping the playing surface clean and dry helps prevent disease and contamination. This can be achieved by using brushes and dragmats. Also, brushing of the green will help the sward stand upright allowing good air movement around the grass plant.

You should also be maintaining you winter height of cut at between 10-12mm. To help monitor the correct height of cut, use a prism gauge.

On your return after the holidays you are likely to find some accumulated surface debris (leaves, litter etc.) on the green and in the drainage ditches. It is important to clear it up.

Key Tasks

Cultural Practices

January is a good time, whilst it is quiet, to plan and get yourself organised. What are your targets for this year? What do you want to achieve? Have you organised your spring renovation works? Have you ordered materials and machinery for the forthcoming season?

Aeration: should be continued throughout the winter when conditions allow, the use of a sarrel roller will be beneficial in keeping the surface open.

Diseases: are fairly prominent this year. Keep an eye on fungal disease attack and use approved fungicides to treat infected areas. Good cultural practices generally reduce the likelihood of disease outbreaks.lilleshall golf course disease.jpg

Fertilising: Generally, no fertiliser applications are made during the winter months, as plant growth has slowed down. However, some groundstaff may apply a dose of liquid iron to colour up and provide some strength to the grass plant.

Brushing/switching: of the playing surface keeps the green clean and removes any dew or surface water. Keeping the surface dry will aid resistance to disease.

Machinery and sundries: Keep machines overhauled and clean. Arrange the servicing of your machines ready for the new season. Keep an eye on your material stocks, (seed, top dressing, petrol, oil ) remembering to replenish as required.

Perimeter fences and hedges: Most bowling green facilities are enclosed by fences or hedges. January is a good time to complete any tidying up of these features. Hedges can be pruned and cut to maintain their shape and form.

Repairs: Carry out any repairs to ditches, paths, gates, floodlights and other building features. Ideally, you should have your floodlights serviced on a annual basis to check that they are safe and operating to the correct LUX values. Also check that the lights are correctly positioned, thus preventing unwanted light pollution.

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