The Role of Microorganisms in Soil Health is vast and in many cases misunderstood. For decades we have been obsessed with the potential harm that just a few pathogenic microbes can cause, instead of learning to think of the soil as an eco-system. We've learned the hard way about that approach and now that pesticide availability is being reduced we need to start taking this seriously. Excellent article here from Christopher Johns, Research Manager, Northern Australia and Land Care Research Programme
Understanding that the ecology of greens exists and what that means is more important for greenkeepers than understanding how that ecology works or indeed any of the scientific components of ecology in isolation. Stepping back and letting nature do its stuff can yield remarkable results.
In this article you'll discover how some commonly applied greenkeeping techniques are actually rather blunt instruments that can result in more harm than good. Top-dressing, applying lawn sand and fungicides are routinely applied to greens in an effort to treat the symptoms of common problems in the soil.
Managing turf disease effectively, cheaply and permanently is well within the grasp of every greenkeeper. The soil in our greens already holds all of the answers to this, or at least it should do. Some of the routine work we do on greens is more damaging than beneficial. The need to manage turf disease more effectively gives us the perfect excuse to start returning our soils and grass plants to their natural disease resistant selves, much to the benefit of our members and clubs. John explains how to manage turf disease outbreaks simply and with reference to vegetarian sausages :-)...may contain nuts!
Today is World Soil Day (WSD). A campaign that aims to connect people with soils and raise awareness on their critical importance in our lives.
To mark the occasion The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations has produced a wonderful series of Postcards that highlight the main threats to world soil health. In the UK we don’t do particularly well with many of them.
Successfully dealing with fairy ring in fine turf is a challenge facing many greenkeepers, but one that can be broken down into easily taken key steps. The conventional remedies that feature the use of fungicides are simply dealing with symptoms and can guarantee only one outcome; temporary relief followed by a worsening of the problem over the longer term. In this article you'll find a pesticide free, long term solution that also alleviates the short term symptoms.
Transitioning your green from Poa annua to bent/fescue is not only critical to achieving a Performance Bowling Green, but is actually a realistic goal. The spongy, soft turf associated with annual meadow grass is less than ideal for bowls. Common wisdom says that this can't be done without major disruption and that even after it is achieved it wont last. This article explains in detail how to undertake the transition of your green from Poa annua to bent/fescue turf and dispels the myths about stressing Poa. This is the way to change your green permanently and without fuss. It will also save your club money on maintenance, so what's not to like?
I received a nice email from a reader yesterday as follows:
"Hi John, I thought I'd share this pic from 8 weeks ago and now following your aeration and no sand advice... must say impressive in such a short time ... thanks. Looking forward to the next task email from yourself" VT