This pesticide selectively kills off particular grasses in the sward while leaving others unscathed which is especially useful for Links turf.
Spring has finally sprung and our turf is under attack from invading weeds like daisies, clovers and pearlworts which need to be controlled.
At St Andrews Links we’re very environmentally aware and limit pesticide use as much as possible. 90% of what we spray is liquid fertilisers, wetting agents or seaweed extract to keep the turf healthy. Occasionally we use a herbicide for weed control but very rarely do we apply fungicides or insecticides.
You will seldom see us on the courses as we attempt to have spraying completed early in the mornings, well in front of golf. This is especially important when applying a weedkiller as it allows the product to dry before play.
The sprayers we use are state of the art with a computer controlled flow rate and a GPS system that shows what has been treated. We use the latest technology in nozzles to minimise spray drift. These all save chemicals, time and money.
The Links Greenkeepers are highly trained, certified and experienced in spraying. The national test we sit is probably as hard as a driving test and attending annual refresher courses keeps the training at the front of our minds.
We minimise chemical use further by spot treating certain areas, but sometimes when the infestation is bad enough, we will blanket spray.
We also use smaller knapsack sprayers which are used to spot treat areas such as the dunes on the Jubilee Course. Here we apply a product to eradicate young gorse plants which are trying to recolonise the recently cleared dunes. They’re also used in deep roughs to kill plants like ragwort and hogweed.
Another product used on our courses is called a graminicide. This pesticide selectively kills off particular grasses in the sward while leaving others unscathed which is especially useful for Links turf. I’ll be talking more about this in upcoming blogs so stay tuned.