As always this season has started off with many greens playing “slow”. The usual reasons apply of course; mowing heights are still above summer level, the frequency of cutting is still low in many cases due to a really slow start to growth in many areas. Many greens are also thatchy and there has been a lot of moss about as we come out of winter, due partly to the excessively wet end to last summer and more significantly to long term Localised Dry Patch problems which are inherently linked to persistent moss problems. Oh yes and of course we are all still adjusting from indoor speeds to early spring outdoor ones!
So do we just sit and wait or can we be getting on with something to improve the situation?
Happily there is plenty we can do to positively influence green speed at this time.
- Look at our guides on Green Speed and Green Surface Consistency – you might be surprised to see what the priorities are!
- You will see that sward composition (grass types) plays a big part in both these aspects of green management. This is in part due to the upright growth habit of the finer grasses with minimal “nap” or lateral growth. The effects of surface debris and lateral growth can be overcome and green speed and consistency improved with the introduction of regular verti-cutting; at least two operations per month.
- Sharp Mower blades are not a luxury, they are essential to the health, speed and smoothness of your green. Having the mower re-ground in the winter is a good starting point, but it must be kept accurately set with zero contact between blade and cylinder and the front face of the bottom blade must be kept sharp all through the season. The difference in grass health will be remarkable and you will make the most efficient use of fertilisers, water and reduce disease incidence
- Now that summer is here! we can safely bring the height down on the mower to 5 or even 4.5mm. Mowing lower than this isn’t necessary or advisable as it can cause undue stress to your turf and irreparable damage to the crown area of grass plants.
Any comments? Questions?