Quick Q's with Paul Robertson

I noticed in a past Paul Robertson post that he plans to reduce fertilizers in his rough by 50%, so I contacted him to find out some of the details, and why not post some photo's of one of Canada's most beautiful courses Victoria Golf and Country Club.

Turfhugger.com - You mentioned you plan on cutting your fertilizer in half on your rough, how do you plan to do this?

Paul Robertson - We did not fertilize the rough in 2009 and was happy with the condition. However I am afraid this mass reduction was only possible due years of slow release fertilizer still in the soil profile. For 2010 we have identified and will only fertilize rough area in play (mounds around greens, first cut of rough).

Turfhugger.com - What rates do you currently use?
Paul Robertson – We apply one pound of actual N-P-K twice per season - spring/fall to fairways and our new reduced rough areas. Fairways are supplemented by one application of natures gold compost plus bi-weekly liquid fertilizer applications depending on soils tests results.

Turfhugger.com - What problems do you anticipate
Paul Robertson – We are an old golf course with as many as a hundred different biotypes of annual bluegrass (poa annua). The diverse genetic characteristics can be masked by regular applications of fertilizer making the turf look green and uniform in growth. Low or reduced fertilizer applications will clearly display all the differing poa annua characteristics making for inconsistent playing conditions.

Turfhugger.com - How much do you expect to save in Fert budget and labor?
Paul Robertson – Approximately $10,000 in fertilizer and $6,000 in labor.