If the laboratory does not receive a representative sample of the whole stockpile, golf green
or football pitch, misleading results may be obtained.
The outer 15cm of the pile should be pulled back and a plastic tube inserted into the pile. Withdraw the tube and empty the sample into a large clean container (a large strong plastic bag is ideal). A minimum of 8 samples should be removed from different sections and levels of the stockpile and collected together in the plastic bag. Close the plastic bag and shake gently end over end several times to thoroughly mix the sample. Remove a sub-sample of the required size for testing. This reduced sample should be bagged, labelled clearly and submitted for testing.
The detailed USGA document “Quality Control Sampling of Sand and Rootzone Mixture Stockpiles” (J. Moore, 2002) is available. If you require a copy, please let us know.
An auger or similar tool should be used to remove samples up to 6” deep in a random fashion across the area to be tested (a W pattern over the area is suggested). The turf and thatch should be removed and the cores combined to form a composite sample of the green or area of the pitch to be tested. These should be bagged, labelled clearly and submitted for testing.
The amounts required for each test are:
Ideally take the sample using bulked hollow tine cores at a depth of at least 8cm again using a W pattern over the area to be tested (approx 1⁄2 kg will be sufficient). These should be collected in a clean plastic bag, labelled clearly, packed tightly and submitted for testing.
It is best to take samples from the affected area and unaffected area.
Use a hole-changer core to take a sample to a depth of at least 8cm. The sample should be wrapped tightly in dry newspaper, labelled clearly, packed tightly and submitted to the laboratory as quickly as possible. The grass should be kept free from contamination from the rootzone as much as possible.
If the sward is damaged in discrete circles or patches, please take the core sample from the leading edge of the symptoms – this means that half of the core will display the damaged turf and the other half will show the unaffected turf around the outside.
Do not use hollow tine cores for this type of analysis as they provide very few intact plants.
Use a clean container to take your sample. The container (approx. 500ml) should be rinsed using the actual water to be tested. Complete this several times.
Take the actual sample of water, ensuring that the bottle is full. Wrap the bottle in tinfoil or a black bag to keep out sunlight. If the bottled water is open to sunlight, this can promote biological activity, which may affect the pH and concentration of the ions present. Keep the bottle as cool as possible – some customers freeze the water prior to sending. The water sample should be sent to ETL as quickly as possible to prevent deterioration – express courier service is recommended.
This, our second article aims to investigate the relationship between the amount of organic matter in greens and the age of the greens. We hope this helps provide added perspective for managing your greens and provides an insight for members within your clubs.
The management of organic matter is one of the more complex maintenance and renovation tasks for Course Managers around the world, due to its immediate conflict to presenting smooth and fast putting surfaces.
European Turfgrass Laboratories (ETL) annually tests organic matter at 20mm segments for hundreds of golf courses all over the world, from over thousands of individual greens, from a variety of venues including courses with push-up greens, links style and USGA-type golf greens of all ages. This data helps Course Managers communicate better with their stakeholders and make more informed decisions. Read more
The management of organic matter is one of the more complex maintenance and renovation tasks for Course Managers around the world, due to its immediate conflict presenting smooth and fast putting surfaces.
European Turfgrass Laboratories (ETL) tests organic matter at 20mm segments for hundreds of golf courses annually, from over thousands of individual greens from local authority low budget courses to the world best championship courses. This data helps Course Manager communicate better with its stakeholders and make more informed decisions. Read more…
In this, our third article on organic matter, agronomist, Charles Henderson will cover the complex subject of its reduction. Organic matter, in general, is on the increase. Therefore, this makes the reduction of organic matter in greens, relevant to over 90% of us who are involved in managing golf (and bowling) greens, an extremely important subject. Read More.
In part two of our organic matter series, Charles Henderson discusses the relationship between moisture content and the organic matter accumulation in our greens. We will also look at how this affects some of the management decisions we make when trying to manage both moisture and organic matter content in our greens. Read full article