At the end of the 2019 season, we started work on creating our new green. It’s been a lot of hard work – but has resulted in an excellent playing surface that we are really proud of.
We have a dedicated team of volunteers who maintain the green under the leadership of Richard Woodman. All mowing, edge trimming, spiking, scarifying, ditch maintenance and surround maintenance is carried out by our volunteers during the playing season. Spraying of wetting agents and other non-hazardous agents are also carried out by the team of volunteers. We have the use of professional services for major works at the beginning and the end of the season and for spraying specialist products. The team have worked extremely hard over the past couple of years to improve our green and I think you can all now start to see the improvements.
If you want to join the Green Keeping Team, we work Monday and Thursday mornings. Contact Richard Woodman to find out more. We would like more volunteers as we should ideally cut the green three times a week.
Jobs For April
April is a busy month for the green keeping team. The twice weekly maintenance starts with cutting the green diagonally both ways. Scarifying to remove thatch every 2 weeks and shallow spiking/aeration with the round tines on alternate 2 weeks.
Wetting agent is applied monthly to help water penetration to avoid “dry-patch”.
Fertilizer, selective weed killer, fungicide and moss treatment is applied by a contractor if/when necessary.
Bird damage and other repairs and surface improvements is one of the teams’ ongoing tasks.
Green surrounds are cut regularly, flowers tended and hedges trimmed as needed.
The ditches will be cleared, and ditch mats will be installed for the start of play. Benches and tables will by placed around the green.
The irrigation system will be re-commissioned after its winter slumber ready for any dry spells.
You will notice that the team have been hard at work over the winter replacing the old ditch buffers with thick artificial grass and capping the edges with plastic channelling.
Did you know that the green has to be swept early every morning throughout the year to disperse worm casts and remove the dew to minimise fungal disease and damage? The hardy team of volunteers operate a rota to ensure that your green is maintained in tip top condition.
Work is ongoing to get the green match ready for the opening drive and then the league matches. A few more pictures of the team hard at work. Mowing in both directions at a 6 mm cut. Alec dealing with the cuttings and Chris putting Rink markers on the new surrounds.
Preparation for the start of the bowling season - May update
A lot of work as gone into preparing the green for the start of the season. Our contactor has visited the green to apply moss control treatment, followed a week later by deep scarification to remove moss and thatch. Two jumbo bags of material were extracted and will be disposed of soon. A spring liquid fertiliser was then applied. The Green Keeping Team have started mowing twice a week, and are lowering the cutting height from 7.0 mm to 6.00 mm. Barrie continues to do the much appreciated job of taking away the bags of grass cuttings. The dry spell has triggered the need for watering the green. From the 16th May the irrigation system applies 480 gallons of water every night!
Our improvements to the ditches are nearing completion. The black plastic capping will be secured, rink markings will be painted, and the 23 meter minimum distance mark will be applied to the astro-turf. The rink markers are changed every week so we bowl from a different position. This helps to spread the wear and tear across the green.
Other May activities include spiking the green with our Groundsman Aerator using "mini-tines". This allows us to aerate the green without interfering with the playing surface. Using the John Deere scarifier, we shall continue to remove moss and thatch. We will also spray wetting agent onto the green to reduce "dry patch".
Work on the surrounds is ongoing, with regular mowing, edging and strimming to keep things neat and tidy. We also have plans to add pots and tubs to provide more spring and summer colour.
Please help us keep the green in a good condition during the season be treating it with great respect. Many thanks and happy bowling....
Richard’s report of Green Activities for June
Our green continues to look good and play well. I have received many compliments from both club members and visitors - thank you and well done to the GKT.
We will continue to mow in two directions on Monday and Thursday with the Toro mowers set at 5.0mm cutting height and the groomers engaged. The second Toro mower is currently with Kevin Hedges for repairs and servicing, and will hopefully be back soon. Spiking followed by application of wetting agent will continue monthly, and scarification will continue on a monthly basis. When required we shall trim the green edges with the shears, cutting in a vertical position so only grass is cut and none of the roots/soil. The surrounds can be mown with the Honda when needed and we can strim around the concrete edges, under the hedges and on the bank. The tubs, pots and raised borders are looking really nice, and we will maintain them by watering, feedin, weeding and dead heading when required.
Steve Larbey (contractor/consultant) was at the green at the beginning of June for his monthly visit, and he was impressed, saying the surface looked "like a billiard table". We checked the scarring from previous fungal damage and he was happy the there is good recovery and no fungicide (Amistar) application is required. However, there is evidence of "fairy ring" fungal disease, so he will bring a suitable fungicide with him next visit in case treatment is necessary. The brown patches (dry patch) which is of concern to me was discussed, and Steve said it is present on many greens this year due to the dry weather in April. He said we are doing the right thing by managing the irrigation closely and applying wetting agent. He decided to apply a professional grade wetting agent (Revolution) during this visit, which I washed into the surface using the irrigation system. He observed that the spray pattern of our irrigation system may be contributing to our dry patch locations, and provided advice on how we might make some improvements. Finally we discussed a new requirement for DBC to register as a user of professional plant protection products. I will investigate further and follow up on what needs to be done.