Satisfyingly, the green looks appreciably hungry, Red Thread, caused by the fungus Laetisaria fuciformis, is running through the green indicating that available nitrogen is in short supply.
No bad thing at this stage of the year with the Co-operative Funeralcare Waterloo Handicap only days away; a heavy green wouldn't suit the standard of the bowlers heading to Blackpool. But, how to keep the grass healthy, in a condition where it can cope with exceptional levels of play yet able to recover when the renovation is undertaken?
The green had been scarified in two directions and, although the impression is that the green is lean, there is plenty being boxed off and recovery is good. A liquid fertiliser application, Green Solutions, containing a mixture of ammonium and urea will answer the short and medium term requirements of the plant and in order to ensure that Microdochium Patch (Fusarium) is kept at bay an application of Phosphite is incorporated to inhibit mycelial growth.
A trace element package is added to optimise the plants health and chelated iron is added to enhance presentation as we head toward the main competition of the year. This form of iron won't cause any harm, thus ensuring that we can still utilise iron sulphate for moss control in the spring and not over-egg the iron levels which, in most greens, are damagingly high. The SeaAction Seaweed acts as a natural chelate and will help support the microbial population which supports the grass species we're hoping to sustain.
There are a couple of areas of the green which have been affected by dry patch but, on the whole, Bents and Fescues are flourishing and the low-input regime isn't favouring the Annual Meadow-grass. Cutting height has remained at 5mm throughout the season (though the perimeter of the green has been kept a little higher to prevent excessive wear), but this will be lowered slightly during the competition and quickly relaxed immediately afterwards.
300 millilitres of Maxwell Bullet Trace Element Complete 5L
300 millilitres of Maxwell Bullet Phosphite (28%) 5L
1 litres of Maxwell Bullet Chelated Iron (7%) 5L
The green has a low level of Leatherjackets which are currently hatching into their adult form, Craneflies. Previous chemical control methods are no longer available and therefore a proactive approach is required.
We know that we're going to have a problem so, rather than face the green getting damaged by birds or foxes looking for an easy feed in January, we are applying Capsanem: 4 packs will treat 2000m2, more than sufficient for the 1626m2 green.
After application, the nematodes actively search for their prey and penetrate them. The nematodes then feed on the contents of the prey, excreting specific bacteria from their digestive tracts as they do so. These bacteria convert the host tissue into products that the nematodes can easily ingest. The larvae die within a few days and the nematodes leave the host to find another larva. However, application needs to be undertaken now whilst soil temperatures are above 14°C; waiting until January would be a catastrophe.