February finishes with icy cold winds and some bitter wintery showers, just to keep us on our toes and let us know who’s the boss.
As we move into March we start to look to the start of the season with days now getting noticeably longer and the sun a bit stronger, albeit after a frosty start on some days.
We’re forecast another cold dry month during March. Ideally all the winter renovation works will have been completed as once the spring/summer maintenance programs kick in there will be little time to finish them off.
This would be a good time to start working on any bunkers that may have sat wet or been a bit neglected whilst you have been undertaking other winter projects. Time to edge and loosen the sand to distribute through the bunker, replenishing where required.
Continue to brush/switch greens and tees daily to remove moisture from the grass surface, stopping the spread of disease and to help get the best quality of cutting with a dry cut.
Most units will have been reground in winter service and are usually cutting very well at this time as this can sometimes be the first cut of the year and sharp blades will always give a cleaner cut this will also help to reduce the disease pressure. Make sure your blades and tine parts have been adequately replaced.
A light Brush or Verticut, if conditions and growth allow, will help through this period as we see variations of growth rates in different grass species. This will help smoothness and speed without dropping the cut too early as photosynthesis will now be starting and more leaf will help the uptake of energy to the plant.
The use of Vibrating Rollers after a light dressing will again help the smoothness at this time but please only if conditions are dry enough.
With the forecasters predicting a dry, cold march it may be that dry patch may be an issue early on some courses and you should be prepared for this too.
An early application of wetting agent will be far more effective to help the movement of moisture through the rootzone and help the uptake of nutrient through the plant, the benefits will be seen through the season.
That’s it for now – see you again next month…