I once commented that there are only ever two real problems in bowling greenkeeping; compaction and thatch, with the rest of the myriad problems we come across being merely symptoms of these Big Two. Lately, I've revised that thinking, as the more I see of ill treated bowling greens the more I realise that, although they are important, even thatch and compaction are only symptoms too. The trouble we face in greenkeeping is that the industry wants us to treat symptoms. If we treated the root cause after all, we wouldn't need to buy half as much stuff! But before we get too carried away, let's have a recap on what bowls green compaction actually means.
Compaction is of course one of the big issues in bowling green maintenance and people are always looking for ways to prevent or minimise its occurrence. Compaction happens to a greater or lesser extent depending on soil type. At the two extremes of this are Clay and Sand. Think of a potter wetting some powdered …
Regular readers of my articles will know my views on bowling green maintenance problems; essentially there are only 2 that you have to worry about. Everything else that goes wrong with greens is a symptom of these big 2 issues or indeed a symptom of the commonly held views on how to tackle the big …
Turf resiliency is one of the major factors determining bowling green performance and as such warrants close attention by the greenkeeper. Up to this point in our series on the evaluation of bowling green performance we have been dealing with attributes of grass, turf and soil that depend a lot on the greenkeeper's experience and "feel" for the turf. With resiliency we are getting closer to making more objective measurements.
Sand Top Dressing - that ubiquitous and apparently simple greenkeeping operation indulged in by most clubs annually is actually a much more complex operation than most give it credit for. In this article John Quinn explains the mechanics of top-dressing. He explains what it can and can't do and why you must understand some soil science before top-dressing is considered.
This subject is so important to the future performance of bowling greens that I would say it is essential for greenkeepers to understand this subject over any other. The physical condition of the soil in the bowling green is the most important aspect of bowling green maintenance because it impacts every other aspect of green management. …
Mycorrhizal fungi and turf health go hand in hand. The symbiotic relationships that exist between our turf grass plants and soil fungi are critical to producing a high performance, perennial grass dominated sward. Here we look at the benefits of mycorrhizal relationships in turf and the techniques greenkeepers can employ to encourage them.
In this article we take the soil samples you removed in Fix your bowling green Step1 and look more closely at them to discover what's going on under your green. This is one of the most valuable practices that any greenkeeper can undertake as it can reveal a wealth of information about the condition of your green that you could previously only guess at.
The Sweet Spot in greenkeeping is when your green's Physical, Chemical and Biological components come into line to deliver results you couldn't previously have imagined were possible. Hitting that sweet spot is a lot simpler than you might imagine too, as focus on the soil's biology will naturally correct some of the worst Chemical problems and compensate for some of the worst Physical ones. There should be no problem "selling" this idea to your club either as first of all it saves money and secondly it massively improves green performance and consistency.
Understanding your greens soil analysis report isn't always at the forefront of thought of those who instigate the soil test. Too often it is merely a fertiliser sales tool with the advice given taking very little notice of the results received.
Greens soil analysis results are often confusing and use terms that are not easily understood in relation to greenkeeping practice. In this article, John sets out to change that by taking apart a typical greens soil analysis report and explaining it in terms we can all understand. More importantly it relates the results to maintenance.