The Groundsman

February 2014

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GROW WITH THE IOG 27 the Groundsman February 2014 Visit for more information and digital editions • Aeration A well-aerated healthy rootzone encourages a turf grass environment that is more resilient to disease attack. Thatch is a common problem in turf grass environments and this can contribute to moisture retention, reduced root growth (especially rooting depth) and reduced air exchange within the soil profile. Keeping the surface aerated, scarified, verticut and groomed will encourage easier airflow between grass blades, consequently reducing the potential for disease attack. [4, 5] References [1] Raikes, C., Lepp, N.W. & Canaway, P.M. (1996) 'An integrated disease management (IDM) strategy for winter sports turf', The Journal of the Sports Turf Research Institute, Vol. 72 1996, pp72-82 [2] Beard, J.B. (1973) 'Turfgrass: Science and Culture', Prentice-Hall, p576 [3] Smith, J.D., Jackson, N. & Woolhouse, A.R. (1989) 'Fungal Diseases of Amenity Turf Grasses' (Third Edition) E&F.N. Spon Ltd, pp3-13 [4] Juska, F.V., Cornman, J.F. & Hovin, A.W. 'Turfgrasses Under Cool, Humid Conditions', in Hanson, A.A. & Juska, F.V. (Eds) (1969) 'Turfgrass Science' p501 [5] Shildrick, J.P. (1985) 'Thatch: A review with special reference to UK golf courses', The Journal of the Sports Turf Research Institute Vol.61 1985, pp8-25 [6] Troughton, A. (1957) 'The Underground Organs of Herbage Grasses', University College of Wales, Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux, pp94-102 [7] Beard, J.B. (1973) 'Turfgrass: Science and Culture', Prentice-Hall, pp384-390; 580-581 [8] Parr, T.W., Cox. R. & Plant, R.A. (1984) 'The effects of cutting height on root distribution and water use of ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. S23) turf', The Journal of the Sports Turf Research Institute Vol.60 1984, pp45-53 • Fertiliser applications Select fertilisers that complement the development of the grass species being encouraged. Apply fertiliser at the correct time of year and in sympathy with the prevailing conditions; do not apply a fertiliser on a date that just happens to be the same as the year before. Do not apply fertiliser at a rate that forces excessive growth otherwise the grass sward will be more prone to disease and less resistant to wear and tear. Consider whether the solution to one problem may contribute to the development of another problem. • Moisture Surface moisture, especially in the form of dew, provides an ideal environment in which a disease can rapidly colonise a turf grass sward in a short period of time. The removal of dew should be carried out as early as practicable in the morning. Irrigation management can also play a major part in managing the risk of disease attack. Apply the right amount and at the right time of day or night. Do not over apply water, but also do not apply it on a little and often basis as this will encourage a moist surface layer, shallow rooting and weaker turf: all of which can make ideal conditions for a disease attack. • Mowing Defoliation, reducing the height of cut and increasing the mowing frequency all have a significant negative effect on root growth and resilience. The lower the height of cut the shallower the root growth, with a consequent reduced root biomass and thinner roots. All of these add up to a more susceptible plant. [6, 7, 8] l Part 2 follows in the March issue of the Groundsman magazine. Aerators such as the Toro Procore have become an essential groundscare tool The Dennis G860 mower is a favourite with leading sports clubs

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