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Greenkeeper -Monthly Diaries Bowls

by TurfCareBlog

Hi my name is Alun Stevenson I’m 41 and have been a greenkeeper for 25 years. I’m self-employed maintaining bowling greens and lawns in the west coast of Scotland and l hope you enjoy my first stab at blogging.

During these crazy times we’re all experiencing just now things are really difficult because in one hand the sun is shining and there are loads of jobs, I feel I could be getting on. But on the other hand I need to limit my time to just the basics until otherwise instructed by the authorities .This includes Bowls Scotland, at the time of writing this Bowls England have produce a document stating jobs that can be done but ,as usual their Scottish counterparts are slow.

Currently my greens are maintained at a height of 6 mm, high enough to reduce stress on the plant and low enough that once things start returning to normal it shouldn’t be too much stress on the plant. Then we shall be getting them down to summer playing height, around the 4 mm mark.

spraying iron
Iron and tonics being applied

My nutritional programme mainly at present has very little nitrogen as I’m only cutting 1 or 2 times a week, so I prefer to use as mix of bio stimulants seaweed, a wee touch of iron(sulphur will help knock the moss) and my beer slops using my trusty old farmura sprayer. I’ve been using beer from the club’s pipe cleaning duties now for a few years mainly as a source of carbohydrate, the side benefit I have seen is a reduction of crows pecking at the turf looking for leatherjackets (aeration prior is the ideal ,to get the beer into the soil profile).

Crows digging for leatherjackets grubs/daddy long legs

Avoid using iron sulphur if overseeding ,as it can damage young grass plants.

 This winter I have reduced my applications just simply because the weather was always against me in one way or another. I usually aim for monthly applications but this winter there where very few applications and as the picture above shows the crows seemed to have had a field day.

This particular green suffers quite badly with moss and the crows are doing a great job removing this for me and as l speak the bowling season will start late, l’am trying not  to get too stressed about it .Some soil and seed and the green will be in tip top condition for when the bowlers start (if they do this year).

Very short and sharp blog from me, due to the way things are outside of work. Time is very limited so for now, keep the faith and keep safe.



Bowl England have released this report and a must read for anyone attempting to work on the greens. https://www.bowlsengland.com/coronavirus-guidance/

In summary you can carry out six tasks on your greens, if you can also work within the government guidelines ( https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus) in regards to self-isolation etc.

Please do take a look at the report if you are in doubt.

The six tasks you can do all being well

1-Thatch removal.



4-Weed control, if certificated to do so.

5-Repair local areas.


For more blogs from our bowls greenkeepers click on the link- https://turfcareblog.com/category/bowls/

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groundsman620467822 April 10, 2020 - 5:28 pm

Lawn sand is also a option,if you don’t have a sprayer as can be applied via a fertiliser spreader .

chrisjohnson12017 April 10, 2020 - 6:53 pm

What would be the beer impact on cricket squares? Could it deter rabbits?

groundsman620467822 April 10, 2020 - 7:14 pm

The keys is a light soil ,so the beer can get onto the soil .highly consolidated clay loam MAY not be light enough to get the beer into contact with the leatherjackets in the profile .just my thoughts but beer in its self or molasses sugar l am told can only be a good thing for the plant.

groundsman620467822 April 10, 2020 - 7:14 pm

Don’t see it putting off rabbits tbh

chrisjohnson12017 April 10, 2020 - 7:45 pm

Good thoughts thanks. Will have to wait a long time for some beer anyway before trying it.

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