This week the temperatures have dropped rapidly and it's beginning to feel like winter has arrived after a very mild autumn.
Most of our time this week has been spent clearing leaves, especially the Oaks that are always the last to drop. Thankfully we have the equipment at our disposal to make this time consuming job much quicker and more effective.
We use a tractor mounted blower to blow the leaves into lines for the sweeper to come behind and pick them up, this reduces the amount of turning the tractor/sweeper has to do on the wet grass. Contrary to some opinions we always sweep and collect leaves whenever possible as our large stock pile of leaves adjacent to the 6th tee will prove. Other areas where our sweeper cannot manoeuvre, hand blowers are used and leaves physically removed by hand.
Hopefully it will not be too long before all the leaves are down which will free up the 60 man hours that we have put into this task alone this week.
In the mean time we will keep plugging away.
A preventative fungicide was applied to the greens this week to guard against disease, this was tank mixed with liquid Iron to harden the turf and improve colour.
Pedestrian mowers will now take over the cutting duties for the remainder of the winter, this mode of cutting will be much kinder to the greens and avoid tyre marks as the greens become softer.
Height of cut will be raised to 5mm and cuts per week reduced to only two, all other days the greens will be rolled or switched.
As planned aeration of the fairways has started using the clubs Vert-drainer and will be ongoing for the next 2 weeks. The very dry autumn prevented this work from starting earlier as the ground conditions were too dry and hard for the tines to penetrate to any depth. Now the fairways are softer we are managing to aerate to a depth of 200mm using 19mm width tines.
This work will disrupt the surfaces as the hard compacted areas will heave, but this operation will only benefit the fairways and allow free movement of moisture and air. Rolling over is allowed so should your ball land against a disturbed area of ground you can move it.
This work does takes a long time and you may find a very slow moving tractor in your line of sight, please give way where possible to allow this work to be completed quickly and safely, many thanks.
Work is continuing to keep the bunkers in a good playable condition and free of leaves. This week we have edged the bunkers and redistributed sand around the base to help with consistency.
We still observe members raking the sand backwards, although I have seen an improvement in the raking technics of many to keep the sand in the base of the bunker not built up on the back edge.
Work is continuing to the new short game area with drainage recently being installed to the new practice bunker.
In the coming weeks the greenside bunker will be made larger and reshaped, and levelling work will be completed to the tee.
Later in the winter work will start on the path that will link this area to the front of the 1st tee where access to the practice facility will be located.
Once spring arrives all areas will be grassed and grown-in ready for the opening in August.
Keep following us on Facebook where regular posts will keep you up to date on our works and future projects.
You can find us at Bush Hill Park GC Greenkeeping.