7 Steps to our Bowls Green Renovations by Phil Mckeown
My names Phillip McKeown, I’ve been a Greenkeeper now for 14 years. I got into greenkeeping through my love for golf and got my first full time greenkeeping post when I was 16 after finishing a few courses at Greenmount college.
I’m now working as an assistant greenkeeper on my third golf course at Royal Belfast. I got a job offer from Old Bleach bowling club in 2014 and I’ve been there ever since. I’ve been very lucky to be given the opportunity as well as being well supported by a club that strives to have the best surface in the country.
I’ve used my golf course maintenance experience to implement it into my day to day running of the bowling club. Old Bleach has hosted international practices through all levels, PGL (Private Greens League) finals day and also Irish cup finals. I am level 3 qualified now in greenkeeping and I aim to go back for a few more courses in the future.
Step One-Moss Control
I applied a 6kg application of iron sulphate to harden the plant and to weaken any moss around the edges of the green before I verti-cut it. This also helps protect the green while it has been top-dressed.
Green closed on the 19th of September, we gradened the green heavily in two directions the previous year, so this year we decided to hollow core and up the top dress to 5 ton to improve the soil profile.
Firstly I raised the height of cut from our play height (3.8mm) to our off season height of cut (6mm). This will reduce the stress on the sward over the autumn maintenance program and also help recovery over the next few months.
Step Three-Verticut Again
The green got a verti-cut (-3mm) to thin out the sward and to also create a seedbed. I did this before the hollow coring, this meant that the surface would receive a light scarify and was safe enough that it wouldn’t rip up as my groundsman (that I would use to hollow-core) doesn’t have any turf retainers. I removed 4 full bins of organic matter from the green.
Step Four-Root Development Product
Before the hollow-coring process I applied a potassium based liquid fertiliser to help the roots develop and to make sure the plant had nutrients to remain healthy.
Step Five-Hollow Core
The green was hollow-cored with 3/4 inch quick discharge tines with a 4 inch depth. We took out over 2.5 tons of organic matter from the green. The green was brushed after to recycle anything left over on the surface.
Step Six- Fertilise
I applied a 10-5-7 micro granular to help recovery and also to help seed germination.
Step Seven- Overseed and Topdressing
The green was then over-seeded with a charter house overseeder and then top-dressed by a local contractor.
I hope you enjoyed my renovations bowls green blog, l hope you found it interesting how we do our renovations, feel free to comment below.