Any operations in this month are completely dependent on the weather and ground conditions. Inspect the turf regularly, every day if possible. The most likely disease problems will be either Fusarium Patch or Anthracnose, sometimes now referred to as basal rot.
Fusarium should be treated with the appropriate fungicide based on Ipriodione, Mascot Rayzor .
Anthracnose is quite often a cultural problem caused through prolonged wet surface of the turf. Aeration is vital in conjunction with the application of absorbent granules such as Profile Greens Grade . If frost is not forecast and the growth is weak apply some nutrition. Ideally this should have a ratio of 1-1-2 +Fe; it can be either liquid or granular. An example is 5-5-10 + Fe. Mascot AW2 .
It is always good practise to remove dew from the turf each morning, as this will reduce likely fungal problems.
If conditions allow, aerate to allow air into the turf and lightly dress with sand afterwards.
This time of year is always good for planning the season ahead. Check machinery and also work out work schedules and budgets for the coming months.
This month is very similar to January. However, the climate varies between the south west and north east of the British Isles. If in the south of England there are relatively warm spells in February, take advantage of them. Aerate if possible using solid tines, either slitting or round. Apply small amounts of nutrition with a 1-0.5-2 ratio or similar, an example is 6-0-12 Mascot Four Seasons . If applying iron, it is preferable to use this in a chelated form such as Mascot Magnet Rapide . If necessary control worms using Carbendazim at the rate of 4 litres per hectare.
If there is any growth mow the turf with the machine set at 6mm.
Keep changing pin positions regularly so areas of the greens do not become excessively worn. Also keep moving tee marker positions for the same reason.
Work out on the course which is off the green may include the topping up or renovation of bunkers, cutting back branches, repairing or constructing paths and machinery maintenance.
It is a particularly good time for bunker renovations such as edging, trimming and topping up sand, because there is still time for the bunkers to settle down come the start of the competition season.
Depending on the latitude of your venue, the turf can start to grow during March. Aeration is important using slitting or round solid tines. If the temperature is around 10°C during the day and severe frost is not forecast at night, it is a good time to apply spring fertilizer ratio 3-1-2 or similar.
An example of this is Mascot Fine Turf 12-0-9 .
The grass will be weak after the winter and the sooner it can be helped to grow the sooner the surface of the turf will be good for play.
Control worms if necessary using Carbendazim at 4 litres per hectare; a 1,600 sq. yd. green would require 640 millilitres.
Mow the turf with the machine set at 6mm.
Start to apply wetting agent.
Top-dressing greens, though tempting it may be, should generally be avoided during March. The grass will soon be growing, so to aid with incorporating the material into the turf, wait until this time.
Aerating fairways could be a useful activity. In fact, work on the fairways in general is always a good idea now, before spring renovations begin on tees and greens. Top-dressing and divoting, alongside aerating may be the order of the day and should be considered.
The weather and location of your course will play a large part in what work to undertake during April.
It if has not already begun the turf should start to grow in this month. Mow the greens with a machine set at 5 or 6mm depending on the strength of the turf.
Work on the greens should be a priority.
Spring fertilizer should be applied if not already done so in March. Before spreading any fertilizer it is very beneficial to aerate the turf. At this time of the year use a machine fitted with micro or pencil tines. If a club doesn’t have their own equipment it can usually be hired.
By the end of April the turf may be strong enough to verticut, this will improve the speed of the green without cutting below 4.5mm.
If there is still worm activity apply Carbendazim as previously described.
Continue to apply wetting agent.
Soil microbes can be stimulated by applying carbohydrate products, such as Mascot Activate XL .
Fairways could be vertidrained during April.
The mower should now be set at 4.5 – 5mm but not lower. Mowing below this height on a traditional sward will bring many problems later in the season. If the playing surface is not fast enough use a verticutter to improve the roll of the ball.
Be careful not to verticut too often though, as with the weather still being changeable at this time, there is still the chance of a cold snap or particularly dry spell. With grass growth being variable and seed establishment from previous renovations still in its infancy, it could do more harm than good to verticut too regularly.
May is a good month to treat weeds such as dandelions, buttercups and daises if they are a problem with an effective herbicide such as Greenor .
If fertilizer was applied in early March maybe a further application is required. If the grass is growing but lacking colour apply chelated iron such as Mascot Magnet mixed with amino acid such as Amino Form .
Continue to apply wetting agent for the treatment of Dry Patch.
Another task which may be necessary, if not already completed, is the repairing of worn areas around the course after continuous winter use.
Long daylight hours mean lots of play on the turf. It is advisable not to set the mower below 4.5mm.
In the height of season it is advisable that any fertilizer applied should be in liquid form. There is a range of analyses under the Mascot Microflow label. These can be mixed with other products such as Breaker wetting agent and Amino Form amino acid. Both these are helpful if the turf is under stress for any reason. If the turf is thick use the verticutters, aeration with a pencil tine is recommended.
Mowing will be the main area of concern during June, with growth and play at a height, but other areas to remember are to keep moving tees to prevent wear in certain areas, raking bunkers regularly, applying herbicides if necessary and possibly divoting fairways.
Operations in July are very similar to June and it is a busy month. Fertilizer should be in liquid form and mixed with other things when required.
If diseases such as Red Thread are a problem, use Fusion Turf Fungicide .
A fine top-dressing of greens to maintain even putting surfaces could be advisable. Because it is so light, the disruption to golfers will be slight and the advantages significant.
Keep an eye on irrigations systems, which will be getting regular use at this time of year, and look out for areas which are dry due to faults in the system. Also, hand watering high areas and slopes will run alongside the usual irrigation programme nicely.
Ensure tees are divoted on a regular basis.
Aerate using a pencil tine and use verticutters if more speed is required.
In wet conditions disease can become a problem in August. If a particular site is prone to fungal disease it may be helpful to apply a preventative fungicide. It is quite common for dew to be heavy in the morning – always brush this off with the appropriate equipment.
Continue aeration using a pencil tine.
Towards the end of August it may be a good time to apply autumn fertilizer. The ratio should be similar to 1-0-2 an example is 6-0-12 Four Seasons .
Although September is often the month for autumn renovations to take place, preparations can be made now and even the start of such works may be undertaken. Micro-solid-tining could be done and, because air temperatures drop rapidly in September, tees and fairways may be on the agenda for renovation.
Of course, cutting, bunker raking and general maintenance of the course is a priority during August.
This is an important month for maintenance of fine turf. Operations carried out now will help the quality of greens the following spring.
Maintain summer height of cuts but consider raising it by 0.5 – 1mm towards the end of the month.
Cut tees at around 12 – 13mm but raise if the turf looks stressed.
Fairways should be cut between 15 – 18mm, but this will also depend on course location, type and weather.
Greens renovations will be top of the list and if tees and fairways were not done last month, they should be put on hold until the greens are completed.
This month holds the final real opportunity for overseeding, if successful results are to be guaranteed, because soil temperatures remain above the growing temperature before the sharp drop in October.
As daylight decreases fungal attack becomes more likely. Ultra violet light kills disease so there is a connection between hours of daylight and fungal activity. Shade from trees can also increase the risk as well as encouraging moss.
Fusarium and Anthracnose are likely to be the main threats, so keep a watchful eye out and treat accordingly.
Remember as the daylight reduces be vigilant in your inspection for fungal disease. You can now use fungicides which stay in the leaf because of reduced mowing.
Remove the dew each morning and raise the height of cut to 5-6mm.
This is the time of year when leaves fall from the trees onto the golf course. It is essential that these leaves are removed on a daily basis to prevent leaves smothering the turf and harming the surface in the long run.
Shut down the irrigation system and ensure it is ready for winter and not left open to damage.
Fairway spiking may be carried out in October as the ground is perfect for this, being not too wet or not too dry.
Continue to aerate the greens as well.
Applications of chelated iron can be helpful to harden the turf against disease.
November / December
Very low daylight so disease pressure is at its highest. There are several fungicides which can be used. The translaminar strobularin ” Eland ” is very suitable for this period.
Remove the dew each morning and aerate with slitting or round solid tines. To help with stress caused by low daylight, apply amino acid liquid and chelated iron mixed with small amount of Microflow .
Continue to aerate the greens by slit tining and take tees out of action for winter if needs be.