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GOLF COURSE HYDROSEEDING?

 

-BEN BLAMPIED-SMYTH, HEAD GREENKEEPER-

 

Head Greenkeeper, Ben Blampied-Smyth gives his verdict from The Royal Jersey Golf Club – 

 

Hydroseeding, the method seemed brilliant, but would it stand up to the environmental conditions on a links course? Would it cope with heavy rain, wind and the constant temperature changes which we experience on day to day? I’d spoken to a few Head Greenkeepers and received a real mixed bag of comments – good and some bad.

I decided to proceed with a new short game area, thinking that it wouldn’t really matter if the area wasn’t ready for the start of the season – I could always over seed in the spring I thought.

I was a little shocked when the company wanted to come in November to do the application, what about the weather I asked? It will be fine he said – I thought I’ve heard that before, this is Jersey not the Bahamas!

So the day he arrived, it was like a summers day at 16°C. I was thinking brilliant, it could not get any better – until I looked at the weather that evening and saw that by Friday it was going to be 5°C. I think every member that week went out of their way to say it was going to be getting really cold, and that had I messed up with the over seeding of the new practice area. I just smiled and said ‘it will be fine’ whilst thinking I may be looking for a new job soon!

The following week was just as cold, but after a about 10 days germination started – fantastic! We then had 3 days of heavy rain and I was left thinking this will certainly finish it off, as the short game area included a push up green with quite steep slopes and contouring. After the rain had stopped I inspected the hydroseeding, it had not moved, come lose or detached from the under-lining sand. I also was amazed at the amount of germination. I took some temperature readings of the mulch – it was about 10°c warmer than the air temperature. This heat was created by the breakdown of the hydroseeding mulch, creating an environment that the seed was happy to germinate in.

I was completely sold on hydroseeding after this – it’s more cost effective, less labour intensive, and allows the stabilisation of sand dunes or any steep banking. Since the installation of the practice area we have moved on to hydroseed larger areas. This has meant that we have been able to carry out larger projects in house because we have not had to use turf to reinstate these areas.

If you’re thinking of hydroseeding, my advice would be get to a good hydroseeding company involved. Choose one with a proven track record that will not cut corners and you will not go far wrong.

Ben Blampied-Smyth, Head Greenkeeper – Royal Jersey Golf Club    

 


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