The transition from the main growing season into the cooler, wetter autumn and winter months brings many changes to a turf maintenance programme.
For Stratford Oaks Course Manager James Cleaver, it’s no different – with October marking the switch of liquid fertiliser programmes over to monthly applications of the 20-20-30 Enhanced Plant Health (EPH) tank-mix from Headland Amenity.
Since James joined the club, located on the outskirts of Stratford–Upon–Avon, 18 months ago, the drive towards non-pesticidal turf management is something he’s been keen to continue. “Trying to achieve a sward that is healthy and strong enough to resist disease not only gives you better quality turf surfaces but reduces the need for costly fungicide applications” explains James. “The Headland 20-20-30 tank-mix of Liquid Turf Hardener, Turfite Elite and Seamac ProTurf Fe, and more recently with the addition of Mantle, has been a staple in the winter-feeding programme at Stratford Oaks for a number of years.”
“This tank-mix is easy to apply and gives us healthy growth and a stronger, denser, more resilient sward. The inclusion of the Seamac ProTurf Fe (citrate chelated iron with Seaweed) delivers fantastic colour on our greens which is always pleasing for the members throughout the winter months.” The monthly applications over the winter of 2019/20 contributed towards a significant reduction in disease activity, meaning James and the team only required a single fungicide application – representing significant financial savings when compared to previous seasons.
To further increase the efficacy and effectiveness against disease occurrence, specifically Microdochium nivale, James will supplement the 20-20-30 tank mix with two applications of PPT114 – Headland’s water-soluble micronutrient formulation featuring Manganese, Zinc and Copper, alongside Harpin Protein Elicitor – between October and February. “Our Regional Technical Manager Andy Lane recommended we incorporate PPT114 to enhance our EPH programme and that really seems to have made a difference. He’s my go-to for all product and technical advice, all backed up with the facts from the numerous trials that Headland conduct.”
The tried and tested proactive plant health approach will be in place for James until the new growing season arrives in March, when he will switch to another Headland soluble tank-mix of Elevate Fe, XTEND 46-0-0 and TriCure AD across the fairways, tees and approaches.