April Maintenance

General Maintenance

Hold until you see some recovery, which may mean putting your spring renovations on hold, look to lightly:

  • Scarify the green
  • Solid tine spike
  • Topdress
  • Overseed
  • Apply a spring fertiliser
  • Apply wetting agent, if required

Around this time of year you should aim to mow at least 2-3 times per week, which can often be dictated by budget and club’s level of play. The height of cut should decrease until it reaches around 4-5mm.

It can be tempting, but do not cut any lower, especially if there are complaints the green is too slow. Going below 3.5mm is asking for trouble, as cutting too much leafe material will put the sward under stress.

Brushing/switching removes any dew or surface water, keeping the surface dry, which aids in stopping the spread of disease.

Aeration is important as it improves the surface and subsurface drainage of the green, and also increases gaseous exchanges in the soil. It’s also important you use the correct aeration equipment as you don’t want to the disturb the surface too much prior to the season.

Try to verti-cut fortnightly, as it will help thin the sward, remove weak grasses and help stand up the sward and encourage tillering.

Hopefully you have conducted a soil analysis of your soil profile to determine the nutrient status of your green. This will help you decide on what fertiliser products to buy and apply. Make sure you apply only the recommended rates and do not overdose the green or overlap products.

Agronomy

If you have not had one done yet, April is an ideal time to obtain a soil analysis, and full Particle Size Distribution done to tell you the make of your soil.

Soil is made up of percentages of clay, silt and sand. The PSD analysis will identify the ratio of these and confirm soil type, thus giving you a better understanding of what soil you are dealing with.

These tests will also allow you to check other physical conditions of the green such as aerobic state of the soil, root depth and level of compaction.

Most ground staff apply a spring/summer NPK fertiliser, something like a 9:7:7 which will get the grass moving during April. Then towards the end of the month, apply a slow release fertiliser to see you through until June/July.

Weeds, Pests & Diseases

Use approved fungicides to treat any infected areas. The typical types of diseases you may come across are:

  • Fusarium Patch
  • Red Thread
  • Fairy Rings
  • Anthracnose

It’s important to correctly diagnose the problem before treatment is applied, as some damage symptoms caused by insects and pests can be very similar to those caused by disease.

The most common Pests are:-

  • Grubs
  • Leatherjackets
  • Chafer Grubs
  • Frit Fly
  • Ants
  • Worms
  • Moles
  • Birds
  • Dogs

Machinery

You, should have had your mower serviced and sharpened ready for the new season.

  • Keep machines overhauled and clean
  • Inspect irrigation equipment for leaks
 
 
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