Voice of a Greenkeeper: winter tips

The dry conditions have continued in most areas although some of you have had heavy down pours, which has helped with the amount of repair and renovation work some have had to do after the dry hot summer. There has been a few light frosts and I know a few that would like to see a cold dry winter.

The main priority on parkland courses at this time will be leaf clearance; tree work raising canopies and taking out any dead or problematic trees that cause concern to playability or agronomical issues on that hole.

At this time of the year most course managers and greenkeepers will have increased mowing heights in all areas.

The use of hand mowers may replace triples where available, whilst frequency of cut will reduce from daily to 2 or 3 times a week.

Dew removal is vital on the days of non-cutting. With disease pressure being high this can be done with a dew brush, swish, light sarel roll, star slit or light roll, depending on conditions.

Take a look at the GreenTek Sarel Roller which can aerate and remove the dew keeping surface oxygenated and dry.

Aeration work can continue on fairways, tees, greens and approaches when conditions permit but think about the profile of your soil as some aeration at this time when conditions are unsuitable may cause your soils to hold more water or increase compaction.

Winter Works
During this time you will be looking at drainage work, bunker / tee refurbishments, ditch clearance, pathway construction and tree work.

Traffic management is essential throughout this time of year to spread wear and protect areas.

Direction routes should be moved regularly.

During times of inclement weather, you can look to perform machinery maintenance, bring health and safety programs up to date, undertake any maintenance or cleaning in the greenkeeper facilities, or cleaning and preparing all the course furniture for the new season.

Also use the winter period to keep yourself up to date and educated with any seminars or shows that may be available.