Trial Dust in Program
Most members would be aware during the last half of summer we are trialling a monthly dust in program with the objective to increase green speed while still cutting at our increased summer cutting heights and to keep the greens in healthy condition.
Today we have completed the first of the "dust ins", and will be evaluating the results over the next few months.
We will be monitoring green speeds and comparing results to speeds when only mowing and double cutting is used and then again to when we "Groom"the greens, ( a light verti cut).
Turf health will be monitored with general appearance of the surface, visible stress signals and root growth measured.
I plan to post these results on the blog as well as update the course committee as we progress.
During summer there are a number of stresses placed on the green's bent grass, being a cool season grass,( IE it favours growth in spring and autumn), heat and moisture stress are prime concerns along with increased disease and pest susceptibility. The height of cut is just one of a number of factors which can contribute to weakening the turf and if not balanced against the turf health can tip the greens over the edge with severe consequences.
It is one reason we do not lower the cut through summer and the greens may be a foot or so slower than at other times of the year.
Just grooming the greens, chasing green speeds can damage the crown of the plant, (growth point), and lead to thin weak growth, susceptible to many diseases, pests and premature wilting.
In an effort to meet member expectations through summer in regards to green speed and also "keep the greens, green" by trialling the dust in program, we hope to protect the crown of the plant from damage, avoid weakening the turf by mechanical injury caused through verti cutting or cutting to low and gain green speed by less invasive measures.
Should the trial prove beneficial over the next few months consideration will be given to implementing a monthly dust in program from spring renovations through to autumn renovations each year. As we do not have the necessary equipment on hand, we do need to hire the equipment needed and any benefits of the program must be balanced against the available budget.
In future we are also looking at trialling rolling the greens, and a combination of all of the above, the implementation of these programs depend on the available budget.
In short, we cant just chase green speeds through summer just because we want them, we must provide a solid foundation from which to work from that does not compromise the turf health.