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How to Water a Bowls Green

How to water a bowling green

During dry and hot weather the need to water your green properly can't be over emphasised. Although it can be tempting to let the green burn to achieve speed, this can turn to disaster and cause the green to fail later in the season.

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The Great Top-Dressing Debate

Top Dressing Bowling Green

At its most basic, the answer is that excessive use of sand on bowling greens causes the under lying soil to become inert; lacking life or the complex web of interactions that go to make healthy, high performance turf. The natural balance of the soil/turf ecosystem is upset and the green will never be capable of consistent high performance for as long as the folly of top dressing is allowed to continue.

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50 Years of Sand

Autumn Bowling Green Maintenance Question Time

From the very beginnings of the game of bowls, most clubs bowled on a green constructed largely of local top soil, built, prepared and seeded by the club members, perhaps with the help of a local gardener or farmer. Maintenance was largely mowing, turning the rinks on flat greens, keeping the surface clear of debris and worm casts and an occasional roll before a big match. In the autumn, a squad of members would descend on the green with forks to aerate or spike the green, before putting it to bed for the winter with a final cut and perhaps a bag of fertiliser.

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Understanding Wetting Agents and their Role in Combatting Localised Dry Patch (LDP)

LDP makes wetting agents a key tool in the greenkeepers armoury

Some wetting agents are made from harsh chemicals that can be harmful to the environment and potentially toxic to humans and animals. However, wetting agents made from biodegradable and environmentally friendly ingredients are available. These products are designed to be safe for use around people, pets, and wildlife, and they break down naturally in the soil over time, leaving no harmful residues behind.

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Tackling Hydrophobic Soil and LDP: Some key research findings

wetting agent research

The management of bowling greens often presents complex challenges, one of the most prevalent being the occurrence of localised dry patch (LDP) due to hydrophobic soil conditions. Addressing this issue effectively is crucial for the health and performance of your green and wetting agents have emerged as a key tool in this endeavour.

However, concerns have been raised about the potential toxicity of commonly used chemical wetting agents, leading to a call for safer, more environmentally friendly alternatives. 

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Opening Day Preparation: Getting the mower ready.

Opening Day Preparation: Getting the mower ready.

Getting the mower ready is often seen as someone else's responsibility during the close season, but great care should be taken to make sure you are not falling foul of tradition again. Relief grinding and back lapping have become an unfortunate norm in cylinder mower set up, but can be more damaging to the turf and the mower than you might expect. John Quinn explains the theory and suggests a solution that will ensure your mower gives you trouble free service and impressive results all season long.

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