19 Apr 2013
April 19, 2013

Sowing the seeds for a successful summer

Several years ago, overseeding wasn’t necessary at Astbury Golf Course, but due to the increased amount of members flocking to this 18-hole course in the sunny Cheshire countryside, steps had to be taken to reduce the wear. “We chose a Bent seed after trials showed good wear and disease tolerance suitable for this course,” said Head Above: Scott explains how the fine Bents seed mix from BSH is funnelled into the turf slits by the Verti-Seed. Below: Overseeding in action 18 TP April! May 2011 Greenkeeper Scott Newton. “We’ve been using BSH Aberoyal on the greens now for six years and have always had great results.” The eighteen greens take about 40kg seed, then once established, are cut to 5mm, then 4mm in the summer. Astbuqr caters for all levels of ability on its undulating course – and is particularly testing at the 3rd, 9th, 10th, 12th, 14th and 18th holes.

It was established in 1922, meaning there are well-founded natural obstacles to add further character to the rounds. When Turf Professional visited the parkland course, which has Macclesfield canal winding through it, Scott was undertaking a overseed in time for the busy summer season. “This will be the last disruption until September – although even the marks here are minimal,” said Scott, our Young Turf Professional Award winner for 2010. And the Charterhouse Verti-Seed that Scott uses is certainly a neat machine. It opens the turf with oval shaped discs, then seed is fed through a funnel and dropped lcm into the slit where the wind can’t blow it away. A roll and a water the day after will close the lines and after 7-11 days the first shoots will pop up.

Starting early in the morning, the process takes about four hours for the 18 greens and the process won’t need to be repeated until the end of summer, when they would probably use around 50-60kg seed. The first liquid feed of Primo Max was applied a week earlier to encourage strong growth of the seed and repress, and two weeks before that a wetting agent was applied. The course is lightly top-dressed a few times throughout the year. The lines disappear soon after overseeding “The course is based on clay so it takes a while to warm up,” said Scott. “But with the sunshine we’ve been having, plus a good watering, we will get the seeds growing strong in time for the peak season.”