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Fine fescue greens management at Tara Iti...


Patrick Andrews

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There are 32 greens totaling 6.4 acres at Tara Iti, all comprised of fine fescue grasses. As mentioned in my previous blogs, working with all fine fescue is new to me. The fescue greens provide excellent playing conditions for the membership and guests. Even after aerification, Brian likes to say, "It won't win any beauty competition, but it sure plays well.”

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Texture of fescue greens after overseeding.

The greens are sculpted from the native dune sand from around the property.  They do not have any drainage, and don't meet USGA specifications. They were seeded initially with 39% Barcrown Slender Creeping Red, 37% Bridgeport Chewings and 24% Barswing Chewings, all from Barenbrug. Brian has overseeded the greens four times during the winter with a new fescue mix consisting of Cezanne, Nigella, and Absolom, all slender red fescue from Denmark and one Ruddy strong red fescue from New Zealand. The new blend is from DLF, a Danish seed company.

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Kiwi Stewart cutting 15 green

During the winter, Stamina Express or Pervade  surfactants are sprayed every two weeks. In the summer we switch over to Revolution at 19 L/ha once per month, potassium Nitrate, humic acid, and Calphlex. Trinexapac-ethyl (Primo) light rates are sprayed every two weeks or based on growing degree days. Products like fish guts and seaweed are also applied during some applications. For the limited Poa that is on the course, haloxyfop is used as well as manual diligence. If you see it, pick it.

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Watering in a soil spray on 4

The greens here do not have defined borders. There are no collars or clean-up laps. We rely on different mowing directions daily to create a border. This allows the green and surrounds to look as if they are one. We mow at .177 inches six days a week. Four of the days, we use John Deere 220 E-Cut walk greens mowers. We use the John Deere 2500 E E-Cut Hybrid the other two days. Every other Tuesday, the greens are groomed at .08 inches. Two to four days a week we roll greens with a Salsco.

There are no pitch marks, just skid marks...

Being here for a short period makes me want to grow fescue greens in the states. These greens stimp an average of 10 feet  and around 110 on the Clegg meter.  The big thing is there are no pitch marks, just skid marks.

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