Already the relatively dry April and start to May has seen bowling greens suffering from Localised Dry Patch (LDP).
As we have discussed many times on this site before, this condition is a major problem for bowling clubs throughout the UK and if your bowling green is aready showing the tell tale signs then you need to take rapid and relentless action to avoid major disruption to your bowling green surface this season.
Meantime for greens already showing signs of the problem here is my suggested course of action:
- The key objective at the moment is to concentrate on getting the soil in the affected areas to re-wet or at least become less hydrophobic.
- Immediately mini-tine the affected rinks to create some linkage through the thatch layer to the under lying rootzone.
- After mini tining you should apply a granular wetting agent and make sure this gets well into the holes; water the green as required.
- Take care when irrigating the green, as over watering can cause the areas not affected by LDP to become too lush and thatchy; causing disease and sinkage. This might mean hand watering if the remainder of the green is getting enough moisture from rainfall
- In addition to the granular wetting agent and regular irrigation practices you should purchase a hand held wetting agent applicator that fits on to the end of a hose. These accept wetting agent tablets or pellets and you should hand water the affected areas until flooded using this device on a daily basis, even during rainy periods.
- Sarrell roll the green at least once per week (or at least the affected areas); Sarrell rollers create thousands of shallow holes over the green surface and allow the water to penetrate the soil surface more readily.
- Continue this program alongside your normal fertiliser program until there is a significant visual improvement
- Do-not scarify or verti-cut the affected areas during the recovery period
- Raise the mowing height on the green or at least the affected rinks to 6mm
- Take core samples from the affected areas at regular intervals to gauge the amount of re-wetting that is taking place.
- Embark on a thatch reduction program in autumn
- Cease top dressing with high sand dressings
- Continue regular aeration of the green throughout the winter period
This should help you to get on to the most pressing work, but please keep checking back here for updates.