Leigh Swann, Head Greenkeeper at Trentham Park Golf Club, Staffordshire, had become accustomed to a persistent problem with Fusarium Patch making a regular and unwelcome appearance on his tees and greens over the winter.
But this March and April the anticipated post-winter Fusarium scars were either absent or considerably reduced. So what had changed?
"Last year I decided we needed to adopt a different approach and try some different products to tackle the problem," explained Leigh. "I talked to a number of suppliers but Nia Lisseter of Headland Amenity came up with the best advice.
Nia said prevention was better than cure, and I agreed with that. She then went on to suggest a range of turf nutrient products that could help strengthen our greens and tees and therefore improve their resistance to fungal infection."
Headland 20:20:30 mix was applied in September and combines three products into one - Turfite, Liquid Turf Hardener and Seamac Pro Turf. The combination of these specialised products applies successfully trialled forms of calcium, iron and phosphite, ensuring a broad system of preventative care is made available in a single autumn application.
Leigh again, "I applied the 20:20:30 concept at the recommended dosage (20L, 20L and 30L respectively per hectare) and we sat back and waited to see if the treatment had a positive impact.
When the greens emerged from winter they were in far better shape than I could have hoped for. The Fusarium scarring I had grown used to was absent and even club members commented on just how well the greens played."
The use of 20:20:30 and other Headland products, resulted in a far more resilient sward at Trentham Park. Their need, therefore, to treat fungal attacks with fungicides this year, has been radically improved.
"If you were to look at our spraying records from previous years you would see regular fungicide application was routine. This year I have sprayed just twice. This is a massive improvement." Leigh said.
Ensuring the sward is kept healthy and vigorous, to help defend itself against disease, not only gets the job right but it also cuts costs. Fungicide bills can be reduced along with the time needed to apply it.
One last thought from Leigh, "I am impressed with the Headland products we have used; it's as simple as that. Their products offer good value for money allowing our chemical and fertiliser costs to be reduced when compared to previous years.
They do what they claim to do. Now I will have time to tackle the thatch problem we have on some of our greens and look at overseeding with some higher performance grass varieties - the list goes on!"
A range of Headland Products can be seen in the Pitchcare Store.
Tel: +44 (0)1223 597834 - Fax: +44 (0)1223 598052 - www.headlandamenity.com