Since 2002, the Head Greenkeeper Harald Kübler has been responsible for maintaining the Rheinblick GC in the extreme south of Baden-Württemberg right on the Swiss border, close to Schaffhausen. The 18-hole course is in excellent shape and very popular with golfers, mainly from neighbouring Switzerland..
Daniel: What is your strategy regarding pesticide use?
H.Kübler: My goal is to reduce the use of fungicides as much as possible. Currently, we have one or two chemical products available that I can use during extreme periods of very high disease pressure, however in the next few years I want to be able to completely manage my turf without pesticide use.
Daniel: You have been using TourTurf® Sports Turf Acidifyer (STA) on greens and tees for the last two years. What made you decide to use this product?
H.Kübler: I wanted to strengthen the turf in autumn, which is the only time I get a chance to do my yearly overseeding. After the Crane Fly has reproduced,and the Tipula larvae (leatherjacket) starts feeding on the roots, the sward usually became unstable because of root damage. Additionally, the overseeding with the Vredo always caused intolerable mechanical damage.
Daniel: What were the results?
H.Kübler: Since I started using TourTurf® STA in the autumn we have been able to go about our overseeding program without any problems and the turf has become much more stable. Also, from the time I started working with STA the turf have been much less susceptible to snow mould in winter.
Daniel: How do you integrate the product into your maintenance plan?
H.Kübler: From about October, I apply 40 L / ha STA on greens and tees every 4 – 6 weeks together with a penetrant for better infiltration and soil coverage and in combination with 20 L / ha TourTurf® Bacteria Activo Plus (BAP) (a natural fertilizer with biostimulants). Contrary to the recommendation, I use coarse nozzles for the application with very god results. If the snow mould pressure gets too high in winter, I use ‘Medallion’ and we play on the winter greens. During the season we apply light applications of foliar fertilizer every week, to ensure regular plant nutrition. As a result, I’ve had three relaxed winters!
Daniel: Have you set further goals?
H.Kübler: My team and I were able to successfully establish 80% Agrostis on the greens, we want to continue with this project by avoiding unnecessary mechanical damage to the soil and constant monitoring of nutrient input and levels of organic matter in the soil.
Daniel: Thank you very much for the good ideas and suggestions. We wish you a good start to the 2020 season, even though a little later this year.