Hydroseeding helps Castle grow

By Sean Dudley

With some of the most radical shaping seen on a golf course, achieving good grass coverage on the newly-opened Castle course in St Andrews was a challenge for the construction and grow-in team.

Head greenkeeper Allan Patterson used hydroseeding materials supplied by UK firm GroWeb to help his team achieve a good surface on greens and surrounds, tees and surrounding banks, mounding and approaches. Hydroseeding is typically used on hostile or inaccessible sites or areas that are resistant to conventional seeding. The technique involves a hydroseeding machine with a large paddle mixing mulch, fertiliser, tackifier and water to form a slurry that is then sprayed out through a network of hoses onto the area to be seeded.

Since the Castle Course is coastal, and thus open to the elements, a high specification for the hydroseeding materials was necessary. A tackifer was used because as a natural colloid it becomes viscose when mixed with water and helps the mix adhere to the area seeded.

The Jute mulch is highly water absorbent and the different fibre lengths knit together to protect the seed from wind and rain erosion and provide the seed with a natural seed bed in which to start germinating.

Approximately 1.5 tonnes of GroWeb tackifier along with 40 tonnes of GroWeb mulch were used.

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