A nutritional programme from Headland Amenity has been praised by the Director of Courses at Essendon Country Club, for helping them get through the autumn and winter of 2021 disease-free. After his appointment in June, Marc Winnan had soil samples taken which highlighted extremely high levels of organic matter – the reduction of which was the key to the plan constructed in conjunction with Headland’s Regional Technical Manager Peter Blackaby.
Marc oversees all elements of greens maintenance across the Hertfordshire estate, which includes two 18-hole golf courses as well as a driving range, practice facilities and the 9-hole Muntjac Academy Course. “Whenever you start a new role, you’ll instantly spot certain problems but it’s also important to identify anything going on deeper in the profile which is why we had both Headland and the STRI take soil samples” explains Marc, who heads up a team of 15. “The high OM levels were a real concern, so we quickly instigated a mechanical and nutritional programme to bring that down, to reduce our susceptibility to disease before the high-pressure period arrived.”
Key to the programme was Headland’s industry-leading 20-20-30+Mantle Enhanced Plant Health (EPH) tank-mix – a combination of Liquid Turf Hardener, Turfite® Elite and Seamac® ProTurf Fe, proven to deliver turf strength and reduce disease activity when applied as part of a preventative plant-health approach. “I’ve used 20-20-30+Mantle previously, but where we would traditionally begin applications at the end of September, we brought this forward to the end of August because of the concerns we had about disease, Fusarium in particular. The 20-20-30+Mantle was complemented with applications of DewCure™ to reduce leaf moisture and this combination, without a doubt, had a massive impact on protecting plant health and saw us get through the whole winter with no disease.”
“In other areas of the course, the goal was to improve the density of the sward via granular feeds. We applied Quickstart® Maxi Plus which gave us great results across the tees, approaches and fairways, and then switched this to Multigreen 15-0-22 temperature-controlled release fertiliser to see us through the winter months.” Together with the improvements in course condition, Marc has been equally pleased with the support received from the Headland Technical Team every step of the way. He adds, “Because of his greenkeeping background, Peter speaks our language and worked together with us to give us more than just the products we need, ensuring we always had all of the additional data and knowledge to make an informed decision.”