Work out at Worthing
With a wet autumn, we have had to pick the times when we can get on to do the end of season remedial works required, so as to get the greens prepared ready for next season.
We have been cutting the greens through the summer at 3mm, but as the autumn drew in, the height of cut was set to 4mm with a once weekly cutting routine. We scarify all of the greens regularly throughout the season, but as the season finished we gave them a final scarify with two diagonal passes from corner to corner using a Sisis Rotorake with the thatch removal wheel attached. This removes debris, moss and dead organic material from the surface of the green, opening it up and helps to prevent the build up of thatch.
Since I got involved with the greens thirteen years ago, I have employed a program of soil exchange each autumn, to help remove the thatch in the greens. When I first came the greens were very spongy and had a thatch layer as deep as 75mm (3 inches). This program has worked well so this year is the first year that we are not top dressing the greens.
An autumn feed of 5:0:10+Fe has been applied to each green at approximately 20kgs per green.
The most important practice now is to get plenty of air into the greens. During the renovations we used a pedestrian Sisis slitter, again corner to corner to open up the ground. While the greens remain firm we will continue to spike using this machine up till Christmas probably on a fortnightly basis. I have found that the slits have a habit of opening up in the summer if we continue slitting after December so I will then employ the use of a solid tine machine thereafter.
I tend to leave the majority of the seeding until the spring, so we only do repairs to worn ends with seed and root zone dressing. This is now all complete, and it is a good sign of this mild weather that the new seed has already germinated.
We de-dew the greens every day as part of our routine, but we also have a lot of leaves coming down at the moment, so it is imperative that these are swept up regularly to avoid encouraging more disease and worms.
I have been fighting a battle with moss and have recently sprayed with Mosstox; the moss had been slowly disappearing but now seems to be fighting back again. It may require a further dose to get rid of it altogether.
As we move into November the grass is being cut at 6mm, a height that I will keep the grass at now until next spring. One rule that I try to maintain, is that all the work on the greens is done with pedestrian type machines or by hand, the only time a tractor is ever used is if I have the greens Vertidrained.
For me the winter tends to fly by, so roll on the spring!