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Green Update – March 2024

To The Hesketh Arms Bowling Club Members,

Happy new bowling season! With the green now open, I thought now would be a good time to give an update on the green and where I think it is at.

As you will all be aware we have not had the best of winters weather wise, in fact it will go down as one as the wettest ever recorded, so where does this put the green and how does it affect preparation?

End of season renovations went well, and everything seemed to go to plan. The green was heavily scarified, aerated, overseeded and top dressed.  The strike rate on the seed has been fantastic and we just have a couple of weak/bare areas that are the result of the soil becoming hydrophobic during the hot spells we had, more on this later.

With the amount of rain we have had, getting a mower onto the green has been difficult but not impossible, we are very lucky that the green drains well.   The height of cut is gradually coming down, but I have been in no rush to get it to ‘match’ height. The health of the grass has been my priority since the start of the year and I will now start to reduce the height, thin out the sward and increase the speed of the green over the coming weeks.  There could be a few more frosts to come so I don’t want to rush these processes.  You will notice that the run-offs into the gutter aren’t as short as many would like them, this is deliberate and I will rectify this once the green is dry enough to grip the mower properly and not slide off into the gutters causing damage and ripping the turf.

As mentioned earlier, we do have a couple of weak areas that need some TLC.  My plan with these is to seed and dress them in the coming days and cover with a germination sheet, not ideal but it will be just 2 small areas that I am hoping you are happy to bowl around.  The reason these areas are slow to come good is due to the soil becoming hydrophobic during last Summer’s hot spells. When a soil is hydrophobic it repels water and doesn’t attract it.  Throwing seed into these areas will be like throwing it into hot lava.  To combat this happening again I will apply a granular wetting agent on Monday and this will last 4/5 months which will help to keep the green hydrated, whilst not need to water very much at all.

I could talk about grass for hours so if you see me around the green and want to know a bit more about the processes then just ask!

Andy Bate