We had some heavy rain on Wednesday, but the weather is now turning better.  Plenty of growth, but the soil temperature still has a way to go. Annual meadow grass seedheads are now clearly visible.  The Stimp reading was 8’ 8”.  The 18th green was a foot faster than the other two reference greens.  Moisture meter readings show that it is routinely much drier than the other two (why might that be?), bearing out the thought that soil moisture has a significant affect on speed.

At the beginning of the week the greens were solid tined to 70-75 mm deep to get air into the ground; it helps the organic matter to break down, thus firming up the greens.  They were then verticut i.e. scarified to a depth of just 1 mm.  Despite its shallowness a good quantity of plant debris was removed.  Another 10 tonnes of dressing will be spread early next week, bringing the total for the year up to 70 tonnes - target for the year is 100 tonnes.  At approaching £60 per tonne it’s expensive, but essential to achieve firm and fast greens throughout the year.

On Thursday Gavin and Callum were in early (05:00!) to spray selective weedkiller on the tees, approaches, surrounds and fairways to tackle what looks to be a bumper crop of daisies.  Slowly but surely - it takes a week or more to be fully effective.

We had another visit from the Cheshire Wildlife Trust during the week to assess our plans for carbon capture tree planting.  The visit went well; we might get further practical and financial assistance than originally proposed, and even get the planting done this winter.  But, the visit identified that we are suffering an attack of ash dieback .  It is particularly visible in the small stand of trees between the 9th green and the main gate, recognisable by the ends of the branches dying.  It can also be seen on the left of the 8th and 14th. The trees will all have to come out.  We will need to be vigilant elsewhere.

Alan Wood

15 May 2022


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