I genuinely believe that it's possible to come up with a formula to fix your bowling green, regardless of it's current condition. This is due to one over-riding fact that I've discovered after looking at literally hundreds of greens. They are all at some stage of what I've termed the Circle of Decline. The critical factor in making this possible is simple. You must know what you are dealing with and there is no way to find that out without carrying out some hand dirtying investigative work. So let's get dirty!
In parts 1 and 2 of this series on how to fix your bowling green, we discussed the process and importance of taking regular soil profile samples and discovered what the soil sample can actually tell us about the condition of the green. In part 3 John links this to demonstrate why each of the visual signals from the soil sample point clearly to one or more of the multitude of issues we experience on poorly performing greens. From disease outbreaks to skinning of heads and bad runs on rinks, the humble soil profile sample can tell us a lot about where we're going wrong and point to the answers that will help us create a performance bowling green in the near future.
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 soil food web has become an increasingly popular term in greenkeeping and bowling green management. The problem-solution-problem, or symptoms approach to greenkeeping has been exposed as fundamentally flawed by the diminishing list of available pesticides now available to turf managers. Is there a better way to manage greens...yes. And the extraordinary discovery is that a greenkeeping program that focusses on the green as an eco-system is fully compatible with producing tight, natural turf dominated by the fine perennial Fescue and Bent grasses.
Life after pesticides for bowling clubs, what a scary thought, or is it? Master Greenkeeper John Quinn explains why he believes the death of pesticides could be the start of a revolution in bowling green performance.
By far the best selling of my eBooks available on this site is Performance Bowling Greens; it out sells all of the others by 10-1. Bowling green performance can seem a bit sketchy and hard to tie down to any sort of measurable parameter, but that's more to do with the lack of a joined up approach to the subject in the industry than it is a lack of measurable components. This article introduces the subject of the Performance Evaluation of the Bowling Green.
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.
Over 37 years of greenkeeping and teaching greenkeepers I have come to notice that bowling green performance comes down to just 3 major characteristics. Sounds easy then, doesn't it? Well it actually gets even easier when you identify the one key problem that contributes more to poor bowling green performance than any other.
Green Performance Explained in terms that show the multitude of characteristics of turfgrass plants and their environment that work together to make up the bowls green eco-system. By working in harmony with this eco-system, greenkeepers can shorten the learning curve on turf surface performance dramatically.
Greenkeepers are bombarded with turf problems in the form of disease, weeds, pests and disorders. Now, with many pesticides being banned and unavailable it's time for us to take back control of our turf. The good news is that it is actually easier without chemicals, because we are forced to learn more about the underlying causes of problems and become more familiar with the ecology of our greens.