New Richmond Greens Maintenance Program
Greens are mowed seven days a week (weather permitting). This mowing frequency promotes dense turf and is the first step in day-to-day consistency. Our greens are mowed at .140 inches (9/64′) from opening day in April to early May. From May until mid-September the mowing height is .120 inches (15/128′). From mid-September to closing they are again mowed at .140 inches. Mowing at these low heights places severe physiological stress on the turf. Rooting depth, carbohydrate reserves, recuperative potential and tolerance to environmental stresses are all adversely affected.
Verticutting involves the use of vertically operated rigid blades that cut into the turf perpendicular to the soil. It is used to control grain (lateral growth of bentgrass) and is done with light contact to the turf every ten days to two weeks.
Topdressing is the distribution of a thin layer of sand to the turf. It is done to smooth the surface, control thatch for modification of the surface soil and to provide a firm, tight putting surface. We topdress every three weeks starting at the beginning of May when the turf is actively growing. We mow greens first, then tp dress. The material is brushed and watered in and we follow up with a second mowing.
This operation smoothes the putting surface and increases green speed up to 6 inches. Rolling 2 to 3 times each week during non-stress periods can be practiced without detriment to the turf. But care should be exercised to ensure that conditions are appropriate for this procedure.
We use growth regulators throughout the growing season on greens, tees, and fairways. The product we use is called Primo (Trinaexapac-ethyl). On greens, application rates and frequency are based on growing degree days. Growth regulators become less effective during warm stretches of weather and must be applied more often. This product is typically applied every 4 to 5 days during the summer on greens.
Granular slow-release fertilizers are used at low rates every 4 weeks on greens. If adequate growth is observed and the greens are healthy we may delay or skip an application to help control plant growth.
Wetting agents are non-iconic surfactants that are applied monthly to greens. They reduce the surface tension of water molecules which allows them to infiltrate the soil more effectively. This helps maintain a firmer putting surface and allows us to use less water when irrigating.
Pesticides are applied to greens on a preventative basis. These applications help keep the turf healthy by reducing damage caused by insects and fungus diseases. Applications are made approximately every two weeks.
When to irrigate is based on several factors: rainfall, humidity, wind, evapotranspiration rates, soil moisture, topdressing, fertilization, and aerification are considered when determining when and how much to irrigate. We tr to irrigate greens as little as possible to help keep them firm.