Growing creeping bent grass greens is an exciting challenge for Course Manager and greenkeeper as you can see all the growing process and establishment of the most important areas on the golf course and Turfgrass Agronomy & Services can help you.
Taking into consideration that the right soil or USGA profile sand is used as the base of the green during the construction.
Water and fertilizer are key to grow the greens. 3-4 irrigations programs per day can be used to keep the profile moist depending on the weather condition.
Greens are seeded on a double path at a rate of 4gr/m2 (8gr/m2 in total). Doing a double path limited the risk of miss seeded areas. The seeds should be planted at a depth of 5mm. A drop seeder like the gandy will be used. It is important not to come out the greens with the seeder to limit any risk of transporting the bent grass seeds outside the greens. In the right condition, it will take 72 hours for the seeds to germinated.
7 days after the germination, the 1st roll of the green can be done using a cylinder hand mower. Roll the green at a low speed. Using turning boards on the collars will help reducing any risk of damage on the edges.
Any damages on the green at this stage will have to be fixed straight away. Animals, golfers, maintenance, and irrigation are the most likely responsible for the damages. A little fence can be used to stop animal walking over the area. Topsoil and seeds will be used to make the repair. Ideally the topsoil will be the same as the one used during the construction.
When the plants as a height of 20mm, the first cut can be done at a height of 7-8mm depending on the surface condition. The green will still be patchy and it will take some time to get the uniformity. Some of the difficult areas such as the slopes may have to be rolled few times before they can be cut. At the beginning, 1-2 cut per week will be enough and the cutting rate will increase as the greens become established. The height will be dropped by 1mm every two weeks to achieve a 4mm height of cut after 8 weeks. The cutting rate of the green will increase as the plant become established. By the end of the 8 weeks we will be cutting the greens 2-3 time and roll them once per week.
14 days after germination, the 1st granular feed can be applied. No need for foliar feeding as it will wear to quickly and we want the grass to grow. At a rate of 20gr/m2, a fertiliser product like a 18-6-18 or 15-0-26 can be applied every 14 days. It is important to do it as a double path to be sure every area of the greens is getting a feed.
4-5 weeks after germination, a heavy program of top-dressing sand will start. The goal is to top-dress the greens every 2 weeks and to apply 3-4mm of top-dressing sand each time. It will help consolidate the playing surface (firmness) and to fill every gap.
By: Fabien MAISONNY