Voice of a Greenkeeper: May tips

Well April was another mixed bag with the first two weeks wet and cold. Then we had a week with a few sunny days with temperatures in the mid-20s, giving the first flush of growth. But then it was back to ‘normal’ with the last week being cold and wet.

Despite last week’s cold spell, the signs are that there will be some good growing weather during May. This will help to repair some winter wear and recovery after spring renovations; so some light topdressing will help produce a smooth putting surface.

Greens staff will find themselves getting some dry cuts enhancing presentation.

Some light grooming and brushing will help on fairways and tees to disperse debris and wormcast, whilst giving a light thinning of the sward standing the grass up for a cleaner cut.

May will see mowing operations in full swing with the aim of reducing the height of cut of when sward density and ground conditions allow.

Other operations that complement this to improve trueness and smoothness, thus increasing speed, involve the use of brushes, grooming and verticutting units to remove unwanted thatch and side shoot growths.

The frequency of grooming or verticutting will depend on turf health, growth and climatic conditions.

Light aeration is the key to good oxygen for soil biology whilst creating space for root development increasing the movement of air and moisture through the rootzone.

Solid tine with 6 or 8mm tines monthly, with weekly use of Star Slitter or Sarel Rollers for minimal disturbance.

Follow this with a light topdressing and a monthly brush for surface trueness, and golfers hardly know you have done it…