It has been fantastic to see so many Pyramidal Orchids pop up in the thinned out roughs over the past few years, this year they came out a little later, most probably due to the wet weather.
One surprise addition to our ever growing list of species is the Bee Orchid, this was spotted for the first time, certainly since this blog started. The Bee Orchis is fairly rare, especially to the Sandwich bay area, according to Natural England.
The Lizard Orchid was also spotted by Nick Machin, Nick takes a great deal of interest in the ecology of the site and like the rest of us gets excited when there is a new discovery.
These new finds are telling us that we are doing something right, continuing the rough management will only help to re establish the dune lands to their original state.
This is really the last chance we have for a few months to refine the greens after sewing bentgrass last week. Any bent that has a chance to germinate will be lying low and safe in a hole away from the stiff brush bristles of the brush. The brush is key to great surfaces here and is especially effective in the dry which means we sometimes have to undertake the task in the evenings.
The brush stands up any leggy bents before a mower removes them completely, adding to the texture. this action compliments verti cutting well and can be carried out in alternate actions.
There were also some Barnacle Geese joining the Greenstaff on 18 for a quick photo.
It is always great to try out new machines, today Lee Strutt from the RAC Club in Surrey brought over their Wiedenmann Terra Float overseeder to help us dimple some bent grass in to the greens. We sew fescue in the autumn at a fairly high rate however it is good to introduce a small amount of bent seed when the poa is stressed in order to try and take over some of these areas and fill them out with better grasses. We are sewing at a very low rate of 3g/sqm which is said to be a seed count of around 30,000 seeds per sqm, a tiny amount of seed actually germinates as a lot is left on the surface or doesn’t actually make the soil contact it needs, this machine’s selling point is the fact it blows the seed in to the holes to hopefully result in better germination.
We are apprehensive to use our Vredo disk seeder at this time of year as it is a little too disruptive during peak season, we would also risk the drill lines opening up in drier weather.
Bentgrass is a fantastic winter grass when the fescue cowers away, it adds great body to the sward and compliments the fescue like cheese does to onion. In a month we should expect to see faint lines of seed popping up, bentgrass colonies have increased over the past few years which is excellent, we will continue to sew and concentrate on fescue however.