Greenkeepers and other turf managers looking to achieve superior establishment, consistent colour and growth when renovating their turf should take a leaf out of Bexleyheath Golf Club's book. The Kent club has seen remarkable success with a new method of establishing turf on tees - which involves applying Scotts Sierrablen fertilizer directly under newly laid turf.
Head greenkeeper Mike Ewer says: "We stripped and returfed the right half of the first tee in Jan 2007 - the rootzone used was a loamy sand. An application of Sierrablen Turfmix 28+5+5 was made immediately prior to turfing at the rate of 35g/m2. Because of the product's organic resin coating, which acts as a physical barrier between the root hair and nutrient core, scorch potential was virtually eliminated. Uncoated fertilizers would not deliver this result."
Mike also applied turf growth regulator Primo MAXX to the turf every month from April to August at the rate of 1.6l/hectare to increase tillering of the sward and help develop a strong root system, which was already four inches deep by April.
"The cutting height was maintained at 20mm throughout the spring and summer period," Mike adds, "and divot damage was very light. Recovery was also excellent because of the health and strength of sward."
The left hand side of tee was fertilized with Scotts Sierrablen Turfmix 28+5+5 at 35g/m2, on top of the sward using a spreader, along with the rest of tees on course in early April.
"We are very impressed with the results we've achieved with this method," Mike says. "The longevity and performance of the products have produced excellent and consistent growth performance in terms of top growth to aid divot recovery, sward density and root development. We are planning to renovate five more tees in the same way over the winter period."
Photo caption: Picture shows the first tee at Bexleyheath Golf Club, where Sierrablen fertilizer was applied to the right side prior to returfing.