The seeding of the 9th green and the turf nursery was undertaken today to cap off a busy 8 days for the Team. I asked you last update to think about how many kilograms of seeds would be needed to adequately cover the 9th green to produce a top class finish. A few responders guessed between 30 to 100 kilo’s but I am pleased to say the figure was actually closer to just 3 kilograms; with about 9,600,000 seeds per kilo, you can now better understand why we need just a few kilo’s of seed.
Dylan was also able to secure the same A4 strain of bentgrass mix as we have on the putting green, which eventually will give us a beautiful precinct with both surfaces complementing each other.
With 9.6 M seeds per kilo, the mixture is super fine and you could be excused for thinking it would be an excise in futility to sow the green on a day like today, with a blustery sou’wester blowing. Bring in the Hydroseeding specialist, Michael Riodon of Turf Renovations Australia, who has a solution too good to pass up.
Hydroseeding involves the preparation of a solution of measured water with recycled paper pulp, dye additive, A4 Bentgrass seed, starter fertilizer, fungicide, then stirred not shaken, then agitated, finally a paper mache like product was ready to apply by spraying onto the green, leaving a crusty surface of paper pulp which locks in the seed helping to protect it from the elements, whilst providing a nutritious base in which the seed can germinate and root.
The 9th green seeding was finished in a short time and now has a blue/grey tinge to the surface. Due to the tight fiscal situation and the Covid 19 impact, Dylan has needed to park this program for the foreseeable future. As a result, we still have a small supply of bentgrass turf in reserve, which was stripped off the 9th green, and laid out on the nursery. With a future need for bentgrass turf when we next continue our program to rid all greens of encroaching couch, it became imperative that some of the turf nursery be seeded with bentgrass, whilst the majority would be sown with fine fescue.
Today using a portable spreader, Denis spread granulated fertilizer across the whole of the nursery then marked off about 25% of the nursery for bentgrass seeding. Once that was done, Dylan seeded the 75% of the nursery with fescue seed using the portable spreader, applying about 40 litres of seed overall. This was then rolled with a bunker machine so that the knobby tyres would leave nice indents in the surface which the fescue mache product could adhere into.
The Contractor then sprayed 25% of the nursery with the bentgrass mache, before spraying the remaining 75% of the nursery with a further coating of fine fecue mache. It is hoped that the coming week will bring ideal conditions for both grasses to germinate.
Denis was telling me that he had cut just over 3 kilometres of fine fescue off the turf nursery in recent weeks for use in the couch eradication project. Today’s re-seeding of the turf nursery will ensure that a plentiful supply of fine fescue and bentgrass turf, will be available for the next phase of this project.
On another note which is of interest to all members, is the preparations being made by LGC, in anticipation for the restart of golf. As yet the course remains closed, and the Andrews Government prohibits the playing of golf, but we anticipate this situation will likely be reviewed, probably in line with the Premier’s next statement on the emergency lockdown conditions, expected about the 11th May,
The Greens Committee is working with the Match Committee on preparing for a likely restart, and in doing so are installing a poly- styrene collar on each pin which will allow the ball to enter and stop within the cup, but which will allow for retrieval of the ball by hand without a need to touch the flag stick. The styrene collar will be about 10 mm below the cup lip, giving a more realistic feel to the game and allowing you to finish off by putting out the hole.
Dylan and Denis have also started cutting a temporary green on the 9th fairway, in front of the new 9th green which has been roped off. Both these steps will enable the Club to open the time sheet contemporaneously with any forthcoming Government announcement.
In the meantime, isolate and stay safe. See you when next the Course is open.
Chair of the Greens Committee