The Lockdown Trials – The Low-down Week 3

We’re into our 3rd week of the trial and the data keeps rolling in.

As discussed last week the turf was beginning to look a little weak and we we’re pushing it pretty hard with the five cuts per week. With the rain we’ve had this week we decided to apply an “ICL Sierraform GT Spring Start 16-0-16” at 20grms / m2. This will give us a quick hit of N followed by an 8 week release of N. With the potential of hypothetical (for us its hypothetical – for you it’s real!) golf on the horizon, it was really important to sustain a level of plant health that would allow us to present a surface to the customer when we need to.

The below table shows how the applications are now working out. 7 day windows are currently being applied at least twice as often as the 50 GDD window with the next 100 GDD application not due for what seems like months!

The next couple of weeks we should begin to see that 50 GDD window start to get closer to the 7 day application.

To put that in perspective at the STRI its taking between 15 – 17 days to achieve 50 GDD However down South it’s currently taking 11 days.

Around the end of May that I expect Bingley to take around 11 days and not until the end of June will that be at 7 days.

Find out more about the Lockdown Trials on the Greencast website here.

The Data

Turf Quality

Turf quality is a visual assessment of how the turf is looking, the pattern I spoke about last week has remained – the less maintenace the healthier the turf.

Evenness of cut

Evenness of cut will have an impact on the quality of the putting surface. The data so far is pointing towards the more cutting – the better the evenness. What surprises me looking at this is how quickly the advantage was lost.

The assessments made on the 4th May are all after 2 days without cutting and the advantages had been gained the previous week have been lost quite quickly. Lets see if that’s a trend that continues.

Sward Heights

We’re starting to see a bit of separation on the sward height figures, I suspect this will become clearer as the difference between the applications really kicks in.

Clipping yields

Last week we saw a 22% reduction in clipping yield with Primo, now we have a variation in the numbers of Primo applications made, I suspect we’ll see these begin to separate out a little too.

We are now seeing a clipping yield reduction of between 27% and 13% with the Primo apps depending on the number of applications.


It’s still early in the trial but we’re beginning to see some differences. I would imagine by the end of this week the application methods will have really separated out.

  • The 7 day method will have then had 4 applications (absolute maximum permitted by the label)
  • The 50 GDD application method having had 2 applications
  • The 100 GDD method just 1 application.

At that stage we should begin to see the true value of these different treatment timings.

In conclusion – My thoughts:

  • Less maintenance in periods of slow growth = healthier turf?
  • Less maintenance = lower quality putting surfaces?
  • Primo so far is allowing us to reduce maintenance and hold quality
  • Benefit of additional mowings is very short lived and lost after 2 days of no mowing.

It’ll be interesting to see if these conclusions remain constant as we move into a bit of growth.

I’ll continue to blog and share ‘My Opinions’ and ‘The Data’ from the Lockdown Trials regularly – so stay tuned for more findings just as soon as they become available. They’ll be on Twitter to @SyngentaTurfUK.

Finally here is Mark Ferguson talking about the results from Week 2 of the Live Lockdown Turf Trials.

Stay Safe and see you next week.

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