How is the weather affecting turf maintenance?

We polled grounds care and turf professionals at this year's IoG Scotsturf event in Edinburgh.

"In the past we used to just buy machines because that was the what we always bought but now we have to look at the area, the surface and the requirement. We are therefore looking at different machines and changing our working programmes.

"Even the fertiliser programmes are changing because of the wetter weather and leaching problems. We have to turn around things that we have done in the past, especially with the loss of some chemicals, and go back to traditional groundsmanship and sustainability."

- Roy Daniels, health and safety and training officer, Fife Council, and Scottish region director, Institute of Groundsmanship

"You have to be thinking on your feet now rather than when you used to be able to plan to do certain operations at certain times of the year. Now you have to be prepared for surprises. Things are changing because the money is not there to finance the quality surfaces that everyone would like - people who used to be members of two or three golf clubs are now more likely to only be members of one.

"We have to be a lot smarter in how we work. The challenge is there to get the same quality with a reducing budget. We have to be constantly evaluating what we are doing."

- Andy O'Hara, head greenkeeper, Leven Links Golf Course

"Customers are relying more on new technology and fungicide products because the weather is so unpredictable and that has encouraged companies to do more on that side and develop more advanced technology.

"It used to be a more defined period when people got turf disease and now it happens more often. We are really in the hands of the Gods. We are now just trying to make sure that we have the products that will work to combat the problems we face."

- Kenny Archibald, Scottish amenity manager, Sherriff Amenity

"We have more problems than we ever used to have because of the change in climate. The current warm climate means that the growth period is longer than it ever was. This may lead to more growth, particularly as the amount of chemicals we use is restricted.

"We have to change - we can't continue using old processes because they are not working. People have to look at adapting to the new products that are available. I think the important thing is that people follow best practise principals in the future. It's going to help everybody work correctly."

- Ian Samms, manager, Nomex


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