Voice of a Greenkeeper: February tips

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After a wet and snowy January BTME was a nice, warm week to get some good education, see the latest products on show, new machines and have a good catch up with friends old and new.

Now we’re in February and it’s cold, with wintery showers and sub temperatures, perhaps warming up towards the back end of the month.

Conditions are different to January, so general maintenance will continue when conditions allow. Always remember when the frost has lifted, continue to brush/switch greens and tees to remove moisture from the grass surface, stopping the spread of disease.

If ground conditions are favourable then remove the dew with a Sarel Roller or Star Slitter cassette on your Thatch-Away Supa-System, this will be beneficial to help relieve surface tension and get some much-needed oxygen in.

Mowing will vary from once or twice weekly operations, dependant on the growth of the grass and the ground conditions for different locations.

If you are to cut make sure it is a light trim to tidy up, and make sure to check the height of the cut as this may be the first cut after units have been returned from winter service: remember not to remove more than 1/3 of the total grass height each cut.

The less stress that is placed on the grass at this time the better the results further on into the coming season: more leaf means more photosynthesis!

Sometimes a light brush or verti cut on +1 before cutting will get a cleaner cut especially where some bent grass will start to grow while the poa is sitting back.

It will be a good time to finish any winter program or maintenance jobs paths, bunkers, tree management, etc. Looking forward the irrigation system may well need some work before it is pressurised.

Moving forward into March the aeration of greens, tees and fairways is ongoing when conditions allow.

A wide range of solid, hollow or slit aerators will be used on the playing surfaces. It is essential to keep the greens aerated to maintain oxygen and alleviate compaction but this is only beneficial if conditions are ok.

The application of a lawn, sand or turf hardener product granular or liquid if conditions do improve towards the end of the month will give a hardening to the turf knock a bit of moss and give a little kick to get a little recovery moving towards more intensive maintenance through March.

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