We are on the verge of the driest ever April - following a quite dry March. Conversely, January had a record rainfall. This may well be the Law of Averages in operation, but for it to work in this way is not helpful. As a result, and as feared, the ground is now too hard to accept the mole plough or wide band slitter. The sharper-eyed may have noticed various attempts, e.g. the red dashed line across the bridge on 12 which mark the lines of drain trenches; a partial attempt to open up a trench in the same area; and a single pass with the wider gravel bander between the 10th green and 11th tee. In all cases the ground won. We will have to wait for an above-average wet spell or autumn, but must then take the opportunity when presented.
The team are still coming in to early morning frosts. This plus the lack of rain has slowed growth across the course, including seed germination, is preventing the bare patches (last year’s divots!) on the tees healing. The prolonged lack of rain has meant the sprinklers have been in operation a couple of times. We have also sprayed greens and tees with wetting agent - a detergent solution to counteract dry patch, a fungal problem that causes the soil to become water-repellent and prevents water penetrating the soil. Before anyone asks, current conditions are a long way from being suitable for divotting.
25 April 2021