Our Greens

Greens Maintenance Guideline

The greens are the heart of our lawn bowls club and they require regular care and maintenance. To give members an idea of what goes into maintaining our greens, the following is a description of what our annual greens maintenance routine looks like:

The Greens Team is made up of:

  1. The Greens Team Volunteers - We received an excellent response to the recent request for volunteers and the current list of 2020 Greens Team Volunteers has already grown to over 20 members – and there is always room for more !!
  2. Greens Team Leader - Gavin Clifford (2020 season) will be coordinating our Greens Team activities this year as the Greens Team Leader. This is a new gig for Gavin but he has jumped right in and is already making things happen for our greens.
  3. Paid Contractors: There are a number of third party contractors that we employ for specialized jobs on the greens, including a part-time Greenskeeper (Scott Anderson), contract coring and sanding, contract equipment maintenance, and special project contractors as required (such as backboard and plinth replacement), all coordinated by the Greens Team Leader in cooperation with the Greens Advisory Committee.
  4. Greens Advisory Committee: A group of long-time members familiar with the greens operations whose activities include: support for the Greens Team Leader when needed, make sure we have quality and timely third party contractors, develop long term plans and capital budgets for our greens, and to communicate the greens activities to our Capital Priorities Committee as well as all club members. For 2020 the members of the Greens Advisory Committee are: Gavin Clifford, John Gerhard, Albert Nieuwold, Keith Warriner, Brad Marchant, Mary Ann Gillies, and Glen Young.

We have posted descriptions of the jobs that the Greens Team Volunteers do and would welcome your help. Get in touch with us via this link [insert link] if you can lend a hand. 

List of Greens Team Volunteers tasks.

Our Greens

The Stanley Park greens were re-built in 1952 for the British Empire Games of 1954 (now called the Commonwealth Games). They have not been substantially rebuilt since then, though major work was undertaken in 1997 when the greenskeepers at that time (Stephen Forrest assisted by Jim Aitken) drilled over 10,000 auger holes 1 ¼” wide down to the drain tile in each green, which were filled with sand by the members by hand. Backboards and plinths have been replaced as needed and Greens Managers and their volunteer teams have done their best over the years to deal with the many issues that arise on an annual or periodic basis – moss, moles, insects, crows, geese, storm debris, and frost are some of our ongoing challenges. Our greens are grown from a special grade of grass called “bent grass” and require specialized knowledge for proper care.

Maintaining a Green

Regular care and maintenance by the Greens Team and contractors follows an annual cycle which is set out briefly here. The timing and actions may vary somewhat from year-to-year depending on weather and other variables. Our paid Greenskeeper is responsible for cutting the greens, which occurs 2 or 3 times a week during the bowling season, then sporadically in the off-season and is also responsible for fertilizing and applying other nutrients to the greens. We also currently employ outside contractors for coring and sanding the greens, conducting soil tests, and for some machine maintenance. 

All the rest of the care and maintenance of the greens depends on our Greens Team Volunteers from the club.

Typical Greens Maintenance Schedule

GreensMaintSchedule.png

Spring – March to May

The greens are “waking up” from the winter. Bowling season begins.

March

Paid Contractors:

  • Coring and sanding of greens is done to promote drainage (good for grass – bad for moss) and prepare greens for over-seeding and fertilizing in April.
  • Winter thatch needs to be removed, by “verticutting” the greens with a special machine, to reduce moisture retention (good for grass – bad for moss).
  • Start of regular grass cutting and verticutting to prepare the greens for the season.
  • Soil tests are conducted to determine the optimum fertilizer and additive requirements (moss control, pesticide, herbicide, fungicide).
  • Lime addition to increase the soil pH (good for grass – bad for moss).
  • Green “patches” with new sod in areas where the greens are not performing well.
  • Initiate machine servicing and repairs as required.

Greens Team Volunteers:

  • General cleanup on and around the greens, especially top thatch and pine needles/seeds. [task details]
  • Ditch cleaning and sand additions. [task details]
  • Clubhouse gutter cleaning. [task details]
  • Coring reject collection and disposal. [task details]
  • Crow hole filling with sand/seed/fertilizer mix. [task details]
  • Special projects as required.

April to May

Paid Contractors:

  • Over-seeding, using specialized machines.
  • Fertilizers and additives as required, depending on soil chemistry and moss/weed control required, coordinated with the Greens Team Leader to establish safe hygiene practice with all club members.
  • Regular cutting of the greens on a spring/summer schedule begins – cutting usually every second or third day, depending on weather.
  • Verticutting the greens, usually every second week, followed by rolling as required.
  • Begin initial automated watering schedule, depending on rainfall.

Greens Team Volunteers:

  • Spring clean up
  • Clean the ditches [task details].
  • Fill the Crow Holes and Divots with sand/seed mix [task details].
  • Remove debris from greens – leaves, pine needles, seeds, branches [task details]
  • Cut the grass on the green surrounds [task details]
  • Sweep the sidewalks within the club area [task details]
  • Hand watering if required [task details]
  • Lane markers painted, Velcro fasteners cleaned/replaced [task details]

Bowling season begins and so does coaching for new bowlers. Club members asked to use long mats until the greens firm up.

Summer – June to August

Bowling season is in full swing – coaching workshops, leagues, tournaments, corporate events, and club socials all take place.

Paid Contractors:

  • Greens will be fertilized as required – coordinated with the Greens Team Manager so that safe hygiene practice can be communicated and established with all club members.
  • Regular grass cutting schedule continues.
  • Watering of the greens takes place on a schedule – variable, depending on rainfall, DO NOT OVER-WATER (moss loves that !!!).
  • Additional cutting, including verticutting to reduce water retention and let in air, and also vertically prunes the grass plants which stimulates fresh strong lateral growth – may take place every two to three weeks.
  • Regular machine servicing and repairs as required.
  • When we host tournaments, cutting and rolling of greens takes place daily.

Greens Team Volunteers:

  • Clean ditches  [task details]
  • Fill the Crow Holes and Divots  [task details]
  • Remove debris from greens – leaves, pine needles, seeds, branches [task details]
  • Cut the grass on the green surrounds [task details]
  • Sweep the sidewalks within the club area [task details]
  • Operating the greens roller/iron for tournaments [task details]
  • Hand watering if required, DO NOT OVER-WATER. [task details]
  • Lane marker maintenance as required. [task details]
  • Greens Team Leader – weekly/daily rink selection and scheduling, daily marker placements and mat usage - communication to all members.

Autumn – September to October

Preparing the Greens for Winter

Paid Contractors:

  • Greens will be fertilized, as required.
  • Watering of the greens takes place on a schedule – variable, depending on rainfall.
  • Regular cutting and verticutting schedule continues.

After Closing Day in September:

  • Coring, sanding and overseeding of the greens takes place.
  • Treatment of the green with dolomite lime, if soil tests indicate
  • Fall cutting schedule begins – 2 times a week until frost stops the growth of the green.
  • Regular machine maintenance and repairs as required.

Greens Team Volunteers:

Winter – November to February

Greens are now “asleep” for the winter

Paid Contractors:

  • Winter greens cutting schedule – every two weeks if weather permits, until first frost.
  • Machine winterization servicing and repairs.

Greens Team Volunteers:

As you can see, maintaining our greens takes a lot of work and we can always use additional volunteers. Training and mentoring will be supplied, so don’t worry if you’ve never cleaned a bowls green ditch, helped out with coring and sanding, or have used a greens roller. We will show you how to do these tasks and be there to provide on going support. We have a weekly work group that currently meets Monday mornings at 9:30 and you are welcome to join us then or contact us here [insert link] for further information.