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Don’t lockdown your turf management

Don’t lockdown your turf management: While golf courses are facing unprecedented times, greenkeepers are being urged to keep on top of maintenance to ensure courses are in good condition for when golfers return.

Colin Mumford, technical manager at Bayer, says that seasonal conditions, such as plummeting temperatures and excess rainfall, combined with the challenges posed by Covid19, have affected many courses.

Don’t lockdown your turf management

Don’t lockdown your turf management

“Previous lockdowns prevented planned work from going ahead, and once the courses were open, golfers returned in their masses making the management and maintenance of courses very challenging,” says Colin.

He adds that the cold and wet conditions we’ve experienced this winter could also contribute to long-term turf damage. “Despite being in another lockdown, it’s vital that greenkeepers do all they can to start the year with ‘stress free’ turf, as a healthy course will be less susceptible to weeds, pests and diseases,” says Colin.

Unlike previous lockdowns, at the moment, greenkeepers can undertake maintenance work, which should allow them to catch up from last year, weather permitting.

“Preventative disease methods should be undertaken now to reduce the risk of disease appearing later in the year,” says Colin.

“Keeping surfaces dry by switching or brushing dew off the playing surface should be done daily to help reduce disease outbreaks and ensure a cleaner cut when mowing. And if plant health is a concern, the height of cut (HOC) can be raised slightly, but be mindful that courses may open at short notice, and may require a rapid return to the original HOC which isn’t ideal,” says Colin.

“If it isn’t too wet, aeration or verti-draining can help remove below ground compaction allowing water to move more effectively through the rootzone, preventing waterlogging and surface damage to the course.

“Another job that can be done, is cutting back overgrown trees on the course to minimise shaded, damp environments in these areas,” he adds.

Colin warns that golf courses have been one of the first venues to open following a lockdown and therefore temporary courses may need preparing if the weather is still poor. “Letting players onto frozen courses that are beginning to thaw can result in roots breaking due to surface movement, leading to long-term course damage.

“It’s also worth considering re-routing player traffic flow around the key areas of the course and roping off any high traffic areas to avoid turf getting churned up,” adds Colin.

“Turf stress at this time of year can put the plants under pressure, leaving them more susceptible to problems later in the year, and therefore it’s important to try and keep courses as healthy as possible from the outset,” he says.

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Don’t score an own goal with your borehole

Don’t score an own goal with your borehole: Last November Norwich City Football Club was named joint fifth in a sustainability league table of all 20 Premier League clubs. 

The table was compiled by BBC Sport, working with the United Nations-backed Sport Positive Summit, and one of the reasons for the club’s success was the fact its Carrow Road pitch is watered via a borehole and the training ground recycles the water from the pitches.

Don’t score an own goal with your borehole

The reality is that many football clubs and other sports facilities, such as golf courses and racecourses, rely on boreholes for the critical irrigation of their sports turf.

Having your own private water supply delivers guaranteed water delivery and keeps costs down, but it also comes with the need to meet certain goals, says Mike Deed, Managing Director of Geoquip Water Solutions, experts in borehole management.

“A lot of the big football clubs have several wells which provide water to their network of training pitches and main ground,” he said.

“It is absolutely essential that playing surfaces are irrigated to the best possible standard and remain in tip top condition throughout the season. If water quality or quantity is affected by borehole problems, then the impact can be wide-ranging.

“Investing in a borehole is a significant capital investment, but given the cost of mains water and the fact that a typical borehole will be expected to deliver a return on investment in less than four years, it can also be very worthwhile – providing you take good care of it.”

The trick, he says, is to make sure that an ongoing monitoring and maintenance programme is built in from day one.

“All too often, borehole owners take a ‘fit and forget’ approach in that they fit the borehole and expect it to continue delivering maximum yield without any proactive maintenance.

“In football terms, it would be like fielding your best team for every single match without addressing their physical or mental needs or considering how they might be able to keep delivering their best without any care or attention.”

Typical borehole problems are likely to include reduced yield, a change in the quality of water and/ or a drop in water pressure.

All three can be caused by contamination, such as iron-related bacteria, iron oxide, manganese oxide and calcium carbonate deposits affecting the pumps, pipes and motors.

Don’t score an own goal with your borehole

If too much iron in the water is allowed to build up, it can cause brown staining on hard and soft landscaping and infrastructure (such as buildings), another reason why boreholes need to be regularly treated.

Other problems will include the encrustation of casings and pipes, clogging of filters – preventing the free entry of groundwater, and potential damage to the borehole wall or pumping equipment.

A monitoring and telemetry programme, with the installation of bespoke panels and dashboards, enables remote data collection from each borehole, allowing the user to see issues such as draw down, water pressure, general temperature and also the temperature of the motor.

Triggers and alarm points can be added to raise alerts when faults or particular combinations of problems arise, enabling early preventive action to take place.

Downhole cameras also provide a bird’s eye view into the heart of the borehole, allowing images to be taken and, from there, essential decisions regarding maintenance can be taken before the condition of the turf is potentially impacted by poor water quality.

Geoquip works with a number of partners, including Nicholls Boreholes, which recently helped one Premiership club struggling with dwindling yields from its two existing wells.

After site visits and a consultation process, the Nicholls team recommended a BoreSaver Ultra C Pro treatment solution, which now includes a biodegradable marker to guarantee that no chemical residue is left in the water.

A special system was put in place to capture the iron for licensed disposal and the clean water was discharged through the club’s drainage system without fear of causing any blockage or contamination.

As a result, both the club and the Nicholls’ team saw an immediate increase in yield and are now considering a regular treatment plan.

Don’t Be Fooled By Voltage Claims

Don’t Be Fooled By Voltage Claims: It is a common misconception that the higher the voltage – the better the machine; but it couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to performance. Les Malin, Managing Director of Etesia UK, who distribute Pellenc battery-powered equipment explains why this is the case.

Groundscare professionals could be forgiven for opting to choose a new battery powered machine based on the high voltage it offers – after all, most marketing strategies tend to shout the loudest when it comes to voltage. However, what often goes under the radar is that the voltage of a battery purely indicates how much potential is in a battery, but that potential is not a measure of energy.

Don’t Be Fooled By Voltage Claims

Voltage will only tell you how fast that power tool will want to operate, it doesn’t tell you how strongly it will operate and it will not tell you how long it will operate for. You can think of volts as horsepower for cordless tools. The higher the volt, the more power it can use for higher drain applications.

However, you can have all the voltage you want in a machine but with low amperage the machine would not be much use at all. Think of a small hose pipe struggling to squeeze a large amount of water through it. You would have low volume and high pressure.

Alternatively, the same could be said for a machine that has high amperage and low voltage. It would be the same as having an extremely large water pipe which only manages to trickle a few drops of water through it.

The bottom line is that it takes two to tango. For a cordless tool, you really need volts and amps to work together for higher demand applications. You will need them to both flow at a similar rate and that is exactly what you get with Pellenc technology.

Pellenc significantly leads the way when it comes to the volts/amps balancing act and boasts 43,6 volts and 35,2 amps. This combination of more power and more runtime makes Pellenc equipment the market leader.

As a result, operators using Pellenc equipment have leverage over their competitors. They will have the latest generation and top performing technology meaning that their tools will run with more power for a longer period of time.

Furthermore, they can start earlier, work later, and work closer to schools and hospitals due to the reduced noise. Contractors using Pellenc battery-powered equipment can also promote the fact that they are using market leading technology and are cutting down on noise pollution and emissions, and, as a result, position their businesses as environmentally friendly, and, in turn, charge more for their services.

Pellenc products are exclusively distributed in the UK by Etesia UK.

For further information, please contact Etesia UK on 01295 680120 or visit www.pellencuk.com

You can also follow Pellenc on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @PellencUK for much more news, reviews and insightful views.

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HAIX & GORE: Don’t Catch A Cold

HAIX & GORE: Don’t Catch A Cold: After a glorious summer, winter is rapidly approaching. When it comes to pitch care and landscaping maintenance, footwear must keep up with the high pressures of the job, whatever the weather. Groundsmen and landscaping professionals need top-quality gear and foot protection that will help them to get the job done and get it done right. HAIX, specialists in functional and safety footwear, offers the Black Eagle Safety 50 Mid boot, which contains GORE-TEX Extended Comfort Technology to provide feet with the comfort and protection needed.

Tried, tested and trusted to perform, the Black Eagle Safety 50 range, with low and high versions also available, is flexible and lightweight. The boots are equipped with an extra-light toe cap complying with safety S3 requirements (EN ISO 20345:2011). Efficient against slippery surfaces, the Black Eagle Safety 50 range offers maximum protection against liquids used by turf care professionals such as pesticides, fertilizers, wetting agents and biostimulants, and is puncture resistance against shards of glass, nails, screws or similar objects that can be found on the ground.

HAIX & GORE: Don’t Catch A Cold

Engineered with GORE-TEX Extended Comfort Technology consisting of a 3-layer laminate, made up of a special inner lining, the boots offer incredible waterproof durability and breathability on and off the pitch. Using high-quality, water-repellent, bull leather, the Black Eagle Safety range is the ideal footwear for colder weathers as the sole provides outstanding insulation. Special pigments contained in the leather also prevent excessive sweating in warm weather by reflecting the rays of sun to avoid any overheating.

HAIX has a worldwide reputation of being a “safe brand”. Technical experts scientifically test shoes and safety features in a laboratory ensuring standards are exceeded and top quality functional footwear produced.

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Don’t Get Held Hosta(ge) By Slugs

Don’t Get Held Hosta(ge) By Slugs: Hostas are loved by many gardeners, as they have the most amazing foliage that can offer both dense ground cover and interesting structure to pots. They are resilient and easy to grow, thriving especially well in light to medium shade. They also often have beautiful fragrant flowers, making them a real asset to any garden.  

Growing hostas is easy, as they do not require much fussing, and will grow on any fertile, moisture-retentive garden soil. A bit of organic matter can be added to soil where there is not much shade and the earth is dry, but once they have fully established, after around five years, they will need little to no interference from the gardener.

Don’t Get Held Hosta(ge) By Slugs

The main problem, as any gardener will agree, when it comes to hostas, is the fact that slugs adore them. They can be entirely decimated early on in the season if preventative measures are not taken.

A great, and easy, way to make sure that your hostas are protected, is by watering on nematodes. As nematodes are able to travel through the soil, to where the newly hatched and young slugs dwell, they are able to attack them before they are even in sight, unlike slug pellets. A regular regime of using Nemaslug every six weeks is the most effective way to keep slugs at bay throughout the growing season, and will help to ensure that your hostas survive another year!

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