Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great time with friends and family. I was lucky enough to travel around Central Europe with my Fiancé, eating a ridiculous amount of food and soaking up some incredible sights like the one below.
Now back in Thailand, we have been experiencing some unusually wet and miserable weather for this time of year. Receiving a little over 46mm the past 5 days when we wouldn't normally see a drop. The turf has reacted with a flush of growth and an unfortunate consequence of a drop in green speeds.
Before I left for Europe I published my first ever blog post and was blown away with the amount of feedback and page visits it received. There were a total of 480 visits since I published the article last month, with many people contacting me with questions and positive feedback.
To start off the new year, I thought I would give a quick update on our fertility program, show the calculations I use to estimate soil ppm values and plan for future applications.
What I didn't mention in my previous post was that we are not only following the guidelines on our greens, but course wide. So I have shared my soil test results for the tees and fairways below so you can see where we stand on all playing surfaces at the start of the trial.
Tees above and Fairways below.
As I've shown in my previous post, the lab targets for Calcium and Magnesium always seem to be unattainable and only lead to frustration and what seems to be an over-application of fertiliser. It is still only early days, but the MLSN guidelines just seem to make sense. Why apply fertiliser if the plant is not showing signs of a deficiency or continue to apply if there is no measurable response from the plant after application?
You can see from the graphs that the Calcium and Magnesium levels in the tees and fairways are more than sufficient and still have quite a ways to go until reaching the MLSN while Sulphur I fear will always be an issue due to the high concentrations in our water supply. We will be starting to apply Potassium to our fairways this month and based on my calculations, we still have sufficient levels in our tees for at least another 2 months. We will also be making an application of Phosphorus to the tees this month which should bring the soil levels above the MLSN and have enough reserve to carry us through to our scheduled aeration in April.
Micah Woods has always been helpful in answering any questions I have had about the MLSN guidelines and I'll share his explanation below from a recent email on how to calculate how many ppm of a certain element you are adding to the soil.
Based on the above method as well as the calculations in these articles from the USGA and ATC, a more detailed explanation in "A Short Grammar of Greenkeeping" and general ratios of each element in the leaf (table below) you can calculate the amount of each element used by the turf, remediate any deficiencies as well as predict how long the soil reserve will last for.
Apart from the temporary reduction in green speed due to the flush of growth from recent rainfall, we have not yet suffered a reduction in turf performance due to the change in our agronomic program.
I will post another update on our use of the MLSN guidelines after we receive the results of our soil tests next month but before that I will share a few thoughts and strategies for managing organic matter.
All the best for 2017!