A year-round programme from Suståne® Natural Fertilizers has been effectively managing moisture and turf stresses to keep the 27-hole course at Wellow Golf Club disease-free. Course Manager Lee Payne describes how the 'perfect combination' of Suståne® products including 5-2-10+Fe and 6-2-4 Turf Revival® has seen a drastic reduction in the frequency and severity of a variety of turf diseases, lowering fungicide applications and delivering long-lasting visual appeal.
Steeped in history, Hampshire's Wellow Golf Club is set among 200 acres of parkland surrounding Embley Park - once occupied by King Alfred and later the family home of Florence Nightingale. Skip forward a couple of centuries, the site now boasts a beautiful 27-hole course maintained by Lee and his team of five. Privately owned and broken down into three 9-hole courses; the rotation of the Ryedown, Blackwater and Embley courses enable a 'TLC week' to take place one in every three… or at least that's the idea!
"We're constantly busy!" exclaims Lee. "We conduct a lot of in-house drainage projects as we're quite a heavy site meaning that for most of the winter months, we can't get a sprayer out. That leads me nicely onto how good the Suståne product really is, an annual programme from whom keeps us ticking over superbly well."
"It was the organic aspect that led me to Suståne® initially. We were looking for something that would boost the good bacteria in the profile and not be harmful to the environment or our aquatic life, while also keeping on top of the variety of turf diseases that appear." The programme, drawn up by Suståne's Russell Riley and Neil Rogers from AGS consists of 4-6-4 slow-release fertiliser, 5-2-4+Fe for a boost of colour during December, January and February before a switch to 5-2-10+FE during spring and autumn. Lee also uses Bolster™ Liquid Biostimulant and Suståne 6-2-4 Turf Revival® which he claims provides instant recovery following heavy renovations in March and August.
"Recovery is one of the biggest factors for us, with tight turnarounds in maintenance windows and this is where Suståne® has been fantastic. The extended slow-release nitrogen within the 6-2-4 product gives us an instant boost followed by a month or two of consistent recovery." Lee continues, "We also have a couple of greens particularly susceptible to Anthracnose. If this starts to appear we simply put down a half rate of the 5-2-10 which provides enough goodness back into the soil to effectively control any outbreaks."
A noticeable consistency to overall plant health has meant that Lee doesn't feel the need to try anything else. "We know our programme, we know it works for us and we know that advice is always available from Russell or Neil to tweak things if required. Not only that, but it's also reassuring to know that we're running the course in a way that is sympathetic to the environment we're in to protect what we have here now and into the future."