Greenkeeper’s job soon to become much easier

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Tokanui Bowling Club greenkeeper Ernie Johnstone has found a better way to water the club’s green.

Mr Johnstone said he had kept the green for 10 years, but it was only in the past two years he had to water it.

“We’ve never had an irrigation system here.

“Traditionally we’re a reasonably wet area, so it’s never been a great problem,” Mr Johnstone said.

The plant that grew in the green was called cotula dioica, and it was important to keep moisture up for the plant.

“If the cotula dies off that ruins your green.”

Fortunately there was a small creek that ran to the side of the bowling club, and he had used that water the last two summers when it did not rain often enough.

“I pump water out and flood irrigate it, but it was taking me two-and-a-half hours every time I had to do it, which was every day.”

Then the creek ran dry.

“We ran into real problems.”

The club decided to invest in a watering system and found one that would cost between $16,000 and $17,000 to install.

“We’ve raised approximately half that ourselves so far and we’ve been going to community funders since.”

The club had only 14 members.

“We’ve done reasonably well I think.”

It was hoped the irrigation system would be installed at the 37sq m green before the bowling season started.

“We can put sprinklers in right around the outside.”