The Season nears its end.
By Tony Patching (Worthing DSO).
It seems that all the biggest tournaments hit us at the end of the season. We are now staging the showcase County finals of the fours, triples, pairs and singles. Today (1st September) one hundred bowlers from all over the country will compete on three of our greens for the Middleton Cup.
Our greens are currently running at 13 seconds, which I regard as fast for the UK. It seems that many of the bowlers from further North have difficulty with the speed and it is taking a few practice ends for them to adjust.
In preparation, and during the tournament we have been mowing alternately from corner to corner daily. The greens are cut at three millimetres.
We have been rolling the greens with turf irons across the rinks, again we are alternating this operation as well as turning the rinks each day for play.
Our more general maintenance involved fertilising the greens about four weeks ago so the major growth had slowed down prior to these tournaments.
We have kept watering to a minimum on the greens, only irrigating the ends and the dry spots.
There is also a problem with disease, we have had it tested by the STRI who confirmed it as a form of Fusarium. We call it 'White spot', it looks dead but is rampant on our greens in the summer months. Due to the speed and the spread of the disease I decided on using a contact rather than systemic fungicide in the shape of Rovral Green. This has checked the disease but I will monitor the situation closely in case it returns.
Moss is a problem too but it can wait now until the seasons end before I spray with Mosstox.
This is the time to decide on our renovations, one of our greens in particular
(RA3 green) has had complaints over the last two years, so we will conduct a level survey shortly to decide on the course of action required.
Finally it was worthwhile to note last Sunday the gratifying pleasure of watching the greens dry out and play resume in just over thirty minutes following a short but heavy thunderstorm. I put this down to the annual end of season renovation and good working practices employed by our team.