Carbon Gold Success At Mullion GC

Carbon Gold Success At Mullion GC: With more and more chemical fungicides getting banned, how can Greenkeepers keep their turf healthy?  A chance encounter at the 2018 BTME conference in Harrogate led Mullion Golf Club to the answer…  

Mullion Golf Club is the most southernly course in the country, just a few miles north of Lizard Point in Cornwall.  Being right on the coast, it’s under constant barrage from the Atlantic winds and, as such, often suffers salt damageirrigation issues and disease outbreaks, particularly on the 14th green which is considered the club’s problematic green, sited on a cliff and constantly being awashed with salty air from the Atlantic Ocean. The green was built with a fine sand and has always struggled to get good rooting.   

Carbon Gold Success At Mullion GC

Head Greenkeeper, Gordon Tamblyn, happened upon Carbon Golds enriched biochar Turf Improver at the Sherriff Amenity stand at the BIGGAs annual exhibition BTME at the start of 2018 and was intrigued. 

Biochar is a high-carbon, purified form of charcoal that improves the structure, aeration and water-holding capacity of soil.  Its chemical stability means it doesnt break down, making it a one-time application, and its porous structure provides a permanent refuge for beneficial microbiology.  

Carbon Gold’s biochar is enriched with mycorrhizae, Trichoderma, seaweed and wormcasts and has been shown to improve the health and vitality of turf, improve grass rooting, reduce irrigation costs, eliminate the need for fungicides and dramatically reduce the need to put down fertiliser in trials by Sherriff Amenity.  

In March, during the Clubs greens renovations, Mullion’s 14th green had been hollow-tined ready to have Carbon Golds enriched biochar Turf Improver swept into the Rootzone.   

I was intrigued by Carbon Golds Turf Improver because the science around biology made a lot of intuitive sense and the trial results were impressive, plus the fact that it reduces costs and is a one-time application, it was definitely worth a shot.  I’m always looking for new ways of improving soil structure, preventing disease and promoting the Fescue grasses, due to the nature of our environment at Mullion owing to how exposed to the elements we are. 

Gordon Tamblyn, Head Green Keeper, Mullion Golf Club 

The biochar was used in conjunction with mycorrhizae inoculants and, eight months on, despite an outbreak of Fusarium this Autumn, the 14th green is completely disease freethe grass is showing better rooting, feels firmer and is looking much healthier.  

I’m really impressed by the fact that our biggest problem-green is a lot healthier, firmer and is disease free.  And the rooting is impressive, I noticed theres absolutely no break-off when changing holes. 

Gordon Tamblyn, Head Green Keeper, Mullion Golf Club 

As a result of the trial, Gordon is applying Turf Improver to its putting green and would like to incorporate it to the rest of the course, permanently improving the health of Mullion Golf Club’s turf. 

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