The new Bowling Greens Renovation Package contains everything needed to overseed and feed worn and tired bowling greens:

A1 Professional Bowls (two 20kg bags)

  • 40% BOGART (Chewings Fescue)
  • 40% HIGHNOTE (Chewings Fescue)
  • 10% ABERROYAL (Browntop Bent)
  • 10% ABERREGAL (Browntop Bent)

This blend of Chewings Fescue and Browntop Bentgrasses is perfect for over-seeding existing bowling greens or for sowing newly constructed greens where improved sward density, drought tolerance and disease resistance are required. The cultivars chosen for this mixture produce and attractive, dark green sward which will retains its colour all year.

Fine Turf Winter Defence 3-10-5 (three 25kg bags)

Fine Turf Winter Defence is the ideal fertiliser for fine turf areas which have been damaged by intensive use during the summer months. With a high ratio of phosphate, it aids sward respiration and promotes root growth in new seedlings. Its mini-granular formulation makes it easy to apply and ensures rapid dispersal into the soil.


Bowling green renovation advice

As soon as the playing season ends, commence renovations by scarifying the green in two directions to remove any tired lateral growth and any desiccated bottom growth and surface thatch.

Unless the bowling green has an underlying layer of organic material there is no need to scarify too deeply as you will simply end up removing desirable soil. If possible, relieve compaction with a micro tine or core, focusing in particular at the green’s ends where foot traffic is at its highest. This process will also give the new seedlings some additional space to occupy and establish.

Once prepared, over-seed the green using a high-quality fescue/browntop mixture at 35g/m2 (A1 Professional Bowls is the ideal choice). If you can afford to hire a disc or dimple seeder then great but you will still achieve excellent germination results from simply broadcasting the seed over the holes and grooves made during the process of scarifying and tining/coring.

Next apply your choice of top-dressing: this has a two-fold effect – firstly it will help to level any depressions or divots caused over the season and, secondly, it provides a perfect covering for the seedlings to germinate in whilst shielding them from the views of birds. Please note, simply broadcasting seed onto an unprepared surface with no top-dressing will achieve very low establishment and survival rates: grass seeds, like vegetable seeds, need protection and complete enclosure to establish successfully.

Follow the top-dressing with a drag or brush to work everything into the soil’s surface. You can then apply the pre-seed fertiliser and water in accordingly. Alternatively, you could apply the pre-seed fertiliser before the seed, but make sure the fertiliser has completely dissolved before applying the seed to avoid direct contact and scorching.

Germinal’s Fine Turf Winter Defence fertiliser contains low levels of all the major nutrients, and as such is ideal for establishing new seedlings as you don’t want to force any excessive growth at this time of year but you also don’t want to neglect any new growth or deny the seedlings any nutrients.

After a week or so, use your mower without the blades running to lightly roll the surface: this will push down any emerging seedlings and help to keep them buried. It will also re-settle any of the top-dressing that may have been disturbed. This process can be repeat again after another week or so to maintain a level surface.

At this point it is essential that you mustn’t walk away from your green for the winter: instead, keep mowing the new sward at a safe height to stop the plants going dormant and lanky. Any dry periods during the winter should also be used to give the green a quick trim or a brush: this has a huge beneficial impact on the grass by simply shifting moisture and allowing the lower leaves a chance to access light and fresh air.