R1 and R9 from OAS overcomes challenge: Where most bowling greens benefit from the flexibility of changing heads to spread the wear, the small green at Errol Bowling Club in Perth offers Greenkeeper Graham Craig no such luxury!
It’s down to the resilience and recovery of R1 and R9 seed mixtures from Origin Amenity Solutions (OAS), that despite the high wear and challenges of long dry spells of weather that the green is looking and playing better than ever.
OAS brings together four leading industry names – Rigby Taylor, Headland Amenity, Symbio and TurfKeeper. The group benefits from Rigby Taylor’s market-leading ‘R’ Range grass seed being added to their portfolio.
On his retirement from running his own thatching supply business, Graham took on the role of Greenkeeper seven years ago – at which time the decision was also made to bring more of the green maintenance in-house. “While the two jobs may appear contrasting, there were some principles of working with the water reed grasses that I could apply to operations here at the club, and when I needed advice on things, I called upon contacts such as Andy Menmuir from OAS who has helped me a great deal over the years to tackle the challenges of our high wear surface.”
The green, at just 1000m2, is tasked with hosting friendlies and league games so to give Graham and the club the best chance of withstanding such traffic, Andy suggested a combination of R1 and R9 seed from the Rigby Taylor fine turf range. “We’ve used this combination for the last four years” Graham explains, “with R1 oversown on the full green, and then a mix of R1 and R9 used for additional strength on the heads.”
R9 is a fast-establishing, 100% ultra-fine perennial ryegrass blend of four dwarf PRG cultivars – hard wearing, with fineness of leaf, high shoot density and a tolerance for close mowing making it ideal for fine turf applications. “I apply R9 to the heads, oversown into core holes and then dressed which gives us outstanding establishment and germination. The initial burst of growth shoots up like a forest of fir trees and is brilliant for filling in any bare areas. Longer term, it stands up well to the wear.”
“Andy also plans out our summer and winter-feeding programmes, in particular working with me to keep on top of moss which is a big issue for a lot of greens and saps the run out of the bowl.” He concludes, “I am very proud to say I have zero moss on the green at the moment thanks to the OAS plan, in fact – as a player myself travelling round and visiting lots of other greens – I’d say ours is looking and playing incredibly well.”
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