For our latest case study, Germinal Amenity expert Paul Moreton visited Jonny Roberts of Preston Golf Club to discuss how a spring overseeding strategy has benefited.
As part of our Proactive Seeding campaign, the grass seed specialists from Germinal Amenity have been visiting greenkeepers around the UK to emphasise the value of overseeding golf greens.
Improving species composition
Speaking to Paul Moreton, Jonny explained he faces the challenge of enhancing the composition and density of the sward on golf greens.
“We wanted to improve the composition of the greens and create better surfaces. We want to increase the Bentgrass population and make them more sustainable going forward with less reliance on chemicals. Occasionally we also need to cold seed late autumn/early spring to repair scar damage."
Using a spring overseeding strategy, Jonny has achieved impressive results at Preston Golf Club: “I had read about cold-seeding a lot and wanted to try it, we’ve had nothing but great results..
“Even the seeds in the tine holes still manage to germinate. You won’t see vibrant green plants establishing but darker, stronger and established ones.”
Overseeding all year
Discussing his process, Jonny explains that he overseeds his greens all year round: “We overseed with emphasis on pre- and post-season. The seeding strategy varies on competitions, but in-season the seeding is very light using drop spreaders rather than the machine.”
When he joined the club three years ago, Jonny initially thought he would be a few years off from heavy overseeding: “We got such great results first up that we kept increasing it to the levels we’re at now and the excellent coverage is testimony to this.”
Jonny also discussed his golf course overseeding methods with Paul. “We don’t like to use a disc seeder when overseeding greens as it’s too disruptive on our greens.”
Instead, the team’s preferred overseeding method is either a dimple seeder or pot seeder for when renovating. Jonny explained that they apply seed over core holes using a drop seeder during regular applications.
AberMajesty Browntop bentgrass
After being recommended to use AberMajesty Browntop bentgrass seed, Jonny revealed: “I have had nothing but good results, I like the fact it is bred in the UK. I’ve used others but I like to look at the BSPB list and check the scores, not just the position it is in but the winter and summer greenness.
“Browntop by its nature isn’t a naturally spreading species, so we understand the need for consistency with our overseeding applications. It doesn’t mean we have to put huge amounts on, but just make sure we don’t rest on our laurels and keep on topping it up.” Jonny adds.
Importance of Proactive Seeding in the long term
“We are overseeding to improve the surface; not waiting for a decline then hit them – let’s stop that decline from happening. By adding other seeding times, especially spring, we can achieve this rather than rely on one hit at the traditional ‘back end’.
“For me, this programme is the perfect approach,” Paul Moreton states. “It’s not just about the quantity of the seed, it’s the consistency. Once seeding becomes part of your maintenance and not just a renovation job, you can view it more positively and better monitor the results.
“It’s too easy to dismiss overseeding as another task or an unnecessary expense. But when we see short-term results like what Jonny is experiencing, it makes so much sense to make it a regular occurrence on your maintenance calendar.”
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