Over the autumn and winter of 2016/17, Basingstoke’s Test Valley Golf Club was struck with a serious Fusarium attack which left their greens weakened and scar damaged.
Course Manager Dave Ross turned to Alex Hawkes of Headland Amenity to help with the creation of a recovery programme – applied it at the right time to maximise the results by using the Headland WeatherCheck service.
“Looking back at it now, the greens didn’t go into the period as strong as they should have been, leaving them vulnerable to disease” explains Dave, who heads up a team of 4 greenkeepers. “It was clear the damage from the Fusarium attack was extensive so I asked Alex for advice to put together a recovery plan, to try and give the greens a kick start into spring.” Alex recommended C-Complex 5-2-10, an organic mineral fertiliser capable of working in low temperatures making it an ideal spring starter.
Alex explains, “I told Dave how C-Complex could provide a burst of early growth, which could help to grow the disease scars back in. However, to give it the best chance, I consulted the WeatherCheck service to find the optimum window of opportunity. As this was February, I was not overly hopeful however I could see there was an uplift in ‘Growth Potential’ imminent so we organised a next day delivery of the product for Dave to apply – the products performance, coupled with the window of increased soil temperatures, delivered amazing results and gave the greens the kick start they needed moving into the main playing season.”
“It was a new product to us” says Dave, “but it did exactly what Alex said it would.” Following this, between April and September they’ve had success on the greens with a programme of Seamac Ultra Plus, C-Complex and TeMag Elite. “We’ve also kept an eye on the ‘Evapotranspiration’ module on WeatherCheck which gives us an idea of when the greens are likely to experience drought stress. Using this information, we have been using TriCure Granular as a pre-emptive stress reliever on the driest areas, again to great effect.”
Headland’s WeatherCheck is a customer and postcode weather service which features a general 7- day forecast, as well as detailed 3-hourly, daily weather forecasts showing predicted rainfall, expected wind strength and precipitation probability. It also contains many specific agronomic modules, facilitating the turf manager to take a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to programmes and applications.