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many small leaves and thin stolons. It would be easy for them to cover the whole green with a thin mat. Other coarser varieties For a number of years our Greens Standing Committee has been encouraging clubs to re- thicker stolons. In such instances it would plant their greens . Some have followed the prescribed procedures and been very satisfied crossing each other before the whole green with the results. Others have “done their own thing” with variable results. This issue of Grass Clippings * will be devoted to the reasons for re- passage of the bowl over a green depends planting a bowling green. The procedures on the resistance the bowl has encountered involved will be discussed in Grass Clippings 9. it follows that patches of thick mat with One of the main reasons for re-planting are that there is more than one variety of grass on the resistance would affect the run of the bowl. It is for that reason that the caption for this 1 Note - Apart from the way the run of the bowl is affected over the patches of thick and thin mat the Green keeper would also HEINZ – 57 VARIETIES WITH ONLY ONE
have problem controlling the proliferation of varies. It is physically impossible to instruct Multi-strain (or Heinz ) green can occur for the the Greens Assistant to “thin out” one portion of the green while leaving the other 1 A green, originally planted with a fine grass, portions where the mat is already thin. The most a Green keeper can do is to “thin out “ 2 A green originally planted with whatever cope with the weakest variety. If he set it to grass grew in the vicinity in the erroneous cope with the thickest mat the thin portions belief that the stronger strain would take 3 A green deliberately planted with a new Kweek ) have rigid unbending leaves while variety leaving the previous grass still on the other varieties (Tifdwarf, Paspalum) have “softer” leaves which do not resist the In Australia the players soon realized that passage of the bowl’ Here again patches of inconsistencies on the Heinz greens did not the one variety interspersed with patches of promote precision bowls and started agitating the other variety would make the bowl run for single – strain greens. In 1963 the powers that be in Australia decided that after 1968 no 3 3 Rate State Championships would be played on Heinz faster vertically than others. Unless the greens. It was left to the clubs to decide Green Keeper mows just before play there will be patches where the bowls slows down more readily than over other parts of the fields all have one thing in common – they form 4 Dormancy – Our grasses we use on a contiguous mat which spreads laterally to bowling greens do not all become dormant at the same time. On a Heinz green it could easily Apart from this characteristic they differ in other happen that one variety has already become respects which makes it impossible to have two dormant while another variety is still in full or more of them on the same green. growth. Again the areas still growing would offer more resistance to the run of the bowl than OTHER REASONS FOR RE-PLANTING
5 Nap– Although all the Cynodon grasses have a tendency for their leaves to “follow the It is surprising how few Club Green keepers sun” during the sunlight hours it is more know whether their greens are level or not and pronounced in some varieties than in others. yet variations in the levels can have such an The degree of nap could also depend on the enormous impact on the reliability of the draw - rigidity of the leaf (see 2 above) With two or more grasses on the same green each with it’s It has always surprised me how easily our own “nap” the run of the bowl could be players accept inconsistencies in the draw and weight without complaint (unless they have lost variety has it’s own mowing height tolerance. In previous years some of the Municipalities That would be the level at which the grass leveled the greens every year with renovation. Now that this service has been discontinued appearance When there are different grasses many clubs have not attempted to level their on the same green the appearance of the green might suffer because all the grasses do not look Each club should have a level profile of their greens This should be done by a competent Comment - It is a sobering thought that about person and plotted at intervals of not more than For International matches a variation of up to counterparts our players have accepted the 2.5 mm over 2.50 m is acceptable. In the RSA inconsistencies one associates with a Heinz we allow variations of up to 3.00 mm over 2.50 I must admit that there are some Heinz greens A green can be leveled by Rails or Wires where it would be impossible to determine any stretched across the green or by leveling it difference in the run of the bowl over the different patches of grass. At the same time Scarifier (Used mainly in the Border area) If the variation in the levels is not more than10 patches of different grasses on the green and it mm then the green can be leveled within one is obvious that the texture of the grass is It is widely accepted that it is easier to level a The main issue would be whether the clubs will green devoid of grass than to level it when decide on their own to re-plant their Heinz greens or whether Bowls SA should take the A variation of 40 mm over the whole green with lead in the same way as the authorities did in a gradual slope is acceptable as long as there are not acute variations over a short distance . What the club must ask itself “Can we level this The motto adopted by the Greens Standing green within one year or not: If the answer is “no” then the club must seriously consider - “Better greens breed better bowlers”
removing the old grass – leveling the green and We will not have better bowlers until we have then re-planting. It is the quicker alternative. become more critical of the bowling surfaces remedy for a Heinz green is to replace the grass It may happen that a club originally planted a certain grass only to find after some time that the grass is not performing satisfactorily If another acceptable grass is available and suited to the local conditions then the Club might decide to re-plant the green. One must accept the fact that we have not, as 5 Infections
yet, discovered a grass which meets all the invaded by an infestation for which there is In other parts of the world there is a continuous no cure except to fumigate the whole green search for new strains or new hybrids are It is only recently that a nursery in the RSA has 6 Additional
actively joined the search for new strains with a Thatch Formation - However particular the growth there will always be a build-up of 3 Wrong Soil
thatch in the upper layers of the soil. This We are well aware of the fact that many of out will thicken up the mat and the affect the greens were originally planted by leveling a piece of ground and planting whatever grass remove that thatch every 6-7 years with a grew in the vicinity. It might take the club a few sod-cutter. When contemplating whether a years before they discover that the soil is unsuitable and incapable of supporting the presence of this thatch can influence the vigorous growth required of the grass growing on a bowling green. The commonest problem would be bad drainage because the soil is too threat on any bowling green especially if the Attempts by the Green keeper to introduce new “un-compact” a green which is already sandy soil while there is still grass on the green compacted unless it is “tilled over”. have not been too successful and the club If the club is considering re-planting a green might have to resort to a much more drastic then an additional argument in favour of re- solution – that of removing all the grass and planting would be that it gives the GKP the then tilling in enough new sandy soil to reduce opportunity to “till over” the topsoil with a the clay content and improve the drainage, 4 Changed
It might happen that conditions have changed since the original grass was planted on a green. more skill than managing a green which has These will probably be due to changes in the been laid down correctly and planted with a single variety of suitable grass. It is difficult originally relied on Municipal water for their with modern green keeping without loading uncertainty re the use of water the club has been forced to resort to borehole water which Conclusion
might have a high salinity. The original grass on It is obvious from the above that there are a the green might not be able to tolerate such a number of reasons for re-planting a green. high salinity and the club is forced to plant a Usually there is more than one on the same green and the decision is made easier for On rare occasions it has also happened that the Municipal supply has changed. In the same While there is no doubt that it is a major way as any club using borehole water should operation it does not have to be expensive if regularly have the water tested for salinity or the club members are willing to throw in other impurities so should a club have the Municipal water tested for any changes in the chemical properties if the Municipality has


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