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Posts Tagged ‘grass’

Licence to Kill

Posted by mynormas on June 8, 2015

Very few turfgrass professionals in Malaysia realise that there is such a thing as a licence to apply pesticides. Except perhaps suppliers who have to have a licence to keep pesticides in their stores; they would be aware because it is given by the same body which is the Department of Agriculture.

Wait. What? You’re a supplier and you don’t have a licence to store pesticides? Oops. Well, perhaps because nobody checks so nobody knows. Except that recently a client who was worried about using pesticides that are irresistably cheap they actually kill – not only the target pests – but the grass as well, have asked me to narrow down specifications for pesticides and the three things that I can think of were to find chemicals that are registered with the LRMP (Pesticide Board), have MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) and buy from suppliers that have licences from DOA. So maybe one day, your customers will ask for your licence, then maybe you have to have one.

Pesticides, which includes herbicides by the way and not just insecticides and fungicides, are often used in relatively large quantities on a golf course. I say relatively because in Malaysia, it is rare to find them being used on fairways which is about 50% of a golf course never mind roughs (30%?) so for most of Malaysian golf courses; pesticides are restricted only on greens which constitutes about 5 – 10% of the golf course – ditto fertiliser (does that solve the mystery of Malaysian golf course quality for you?) – and because of Malaysia’s rainfall and humidity, the greens’ grass are quite often infected so we are still talking about a big amount of pesticides; though not as big as if it is also applied to fairways and rough hence the word ‘relatively’. Get my drift? Pun intended.

Despite applying mostly on greens, pesticides can consume up to 10 – 20% of the material cost on the golf course maintenance budget.

Even though the greens constitute only about 5 – 10% of the golf course area, golfers spend about 75% of their game on the greens so the greens are considered as the most important part of the golf course and the most highly maintained. It also means that golfers spend a lot of time on the most pesticide-applied area of the golf course. Constant exposure to pesticides can cause a multitude of reactions to different people; some are harmless and some can be dangerous. Of course a low level of exposure to a very toxic pesticide may be no more dangerous than a high level of exposure to a relatively low toxicity pesticide; so most of the risk is assumed by the applicators themselves. But still, I feel that golfers must beware the grass they are playing on is applied with chemicals that are potentially toxic. Then there’s also the risk of pesticide ‘drifting’ when applied at the neighbouring holes.

So we would expect that because of the risks to the applicators, to the greens, to the golfers and to the environment; most golf courses have applicators that are specially trained in this area with special equipment; right?

Not really…

Spraying greens with knapsack sprayer

Spraying greens with knapsack sprayer

Spraying iwth walking boom.

Spraying with walking boom.

Manual spray in progress

Manual spray in progress. Note the amount of spray coming out. How to know how much was sprayed in one area?

I’ve always find it strange and slightly worrying that the concept of ‘calibrating’ of sprayers are not common among Malaysian pesticide applicators, be them golf courses or even football fields. How do you know how much pesticide you are using or have applied? How do you know you have sprayed once or overlapped?

I suppose most of us have seen the application of chemicals so often that we are immune to what is wrong or right.

Unfortunately, the applicators licence issued by DoA are not compulsory on golf courses because they are considered as private property and the licence are compulsory for applicators in public property such as houses (for pest-control companies) but wouldn’t it be nice if ALL golf courses and football fields in Malaysia have trained pesticide applicators? Wouldn’t we feel safer?

I conduct a two-day hands-on training limited to six person to a class at your golf course with your current equipment (which means I can evaluate it too) so if you want to make sure that your grass gets the right amount of pesticide to treat the disease/insects/weeds, I assure you, the cost of using too much or the wrong chemicals is much, much higher than the cost of training. Call O3-5I3I OO66 or email mynormasATconsultant (AT=@) now.

I had to brag (liar) but I'm probably one of the few in the industry in Malaysia that has an applicators licence.

I hate to brag (liar) but I’m probably one of the few in the turf industry in Malaysia that has a pesticide applicator’s licence.


Posted in Golf club, Golf Course, Golf Course Superintendents, Greens, Lanskap | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mengenal ‘Penyakit’

Posted by mynormas on April 13, 2015

In the past few years I’ve been travelling visiting golf courses and a few football fields in Malaysia, one common problem I see is the difficulty some (let me stress that; some) Superintendents find it difficult to diagnose what is wrong with their grass. Especially on greens. I know it can be difficult to identify what disease is at fault except perhaps Fairy Ring but I find it a little alarming when the an insect attack is confused with fungi or even irrigation water contamination is blamed on disease (did that sound right). I’ve seen greens being compacted by some kind of heavy machinery and yet it was blamed on fungus. Sure, there were fungus on the green but you could see that the disease was mostly on the tyre marks and whatever the guy was dragging behind that tractor; a heavy roller perhaps? So I put together a slide that I used for teaching golf course staff on how to identify between abiotic and biotic causes of damage or disease on the course. I also saw a well-constructed football field having problems because the outlet drains were clogged: unclog it, and it improved almost immediately. The slides are in the Malaysian language because it is used to teach Malaysian staff. It is a two-day course and includes a calibration module. For more info on this and other field/course maintenance seminars, please contact me.

Penyakit apa membuat corak begini? What disease does this?

Penyakit apa membuat corak begini? What disease does this?

Dalam kerja saya sekarang, saya banyak melawat padang golf dan padang bola, dan salah satu masalah yang paling selalu saya jumpa ialah masalah pengenalan kepada penyakit di padang. Kekadang kita confuse di antara penyakit kulat dan serangan serangga. Kekadang masalah yang datang dari pengairan pun kita salahkan kulat. Saya pernah lihat rumput yang mempunyai kesan tayar pun di salahkan kepada kulat juga. Saya pernah lihat rumput yang di salah spray di salahkan penyakit rumput. Saya pernah jumpa padang bola yang di perbuat dengan sempurna dan di jaga dengan baik tetapi bermasalah, saya dapati masalahnya ialah paip outlet membawa air keluar dari padang telah sumbat. Setelah itu di perbaiki, padang tersebut telah berfungsi seperti biasa: tiada penyakit.

Saya telah membuat satu kursus bertajuk “Kursus Asas Aplikasi Racun di Padang” untuk di ajar kepada kakitangan padang dan slaid ini di gunakan sebagai petunjuk kepada mereka untuk membezakan punca penyakit. Ia dalam Bahasa Malaysia. Kursus ini adalah selama dua hari dan termasuk cara kalibrasi mesin. 

Untuk maklumat lanjut tentang kursus ini, sila hubungi saya…

<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”//www.slideshare.net/normas98/diagnosis-penyakit-rumput” title=”Diagnosis penyakit rumput” target=”_blank”>Diagnosis penyakit rumput</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”//www.slideshare.net/normas98″ target=”_blank”>Normas Yakin</a></strong> </div>

Posted in Fields, Golf club, Golf Course, Golf Course Superintendents, Greens, Maintenance, Padang, Padang Golf, Taman | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

AM61A ganti brushcutter

Posted by mynormas on February 16, 2015

Last month I visited a company in Sri Iskandar, Perak that dealt with mowers. They deal in mowers that they imported in from Japan and were marketed for the agriculture sector, which made them really really cheap compared to golf course mowers. The mowers look tough and rugged. I haven’t seen the cut but I’m sure it is better than a brushcutter’s and good enough for the rough and maybe even some fields but what made me really interested was that their mowers were also small enough to be operated under and around trees. 

Mesin AM61A in action.

Mesin AM61A in action.

Last week they sent me a few video clips of which one really really got me looking real hard at them. This particular machine the AM61A was versatile and powerful enough to replace not one but at least five brushcutters! No kidding. You can watch the YouTube video below. 

Please take this in the context that Malaysian golf courses are – or will – be facing a shortage of manpower especially the foreign workers. This machine may be the answer to two reasons for the lack of local workers: 

1. Reducing the need for brushcutters will mean the reduction in the need for brute force and physical demands.

2. Reducing the number of workers through productivity and mechanisation can mean increasing the pay of individual workers.

Or maybe you can just reduce your workforce and increase profit?  

Bulan lepas saya telah melawat sebuah syarikat di Sri Iskandar, Perak yang memasarkan mesin memotong rumput keluaran negara Jepun yang di tujukan ke industri perladangan dan pertanian. Oleh itu mesin mereka mempunyai harga yang murah berbanding dengan mesin yang di jual khusus untuk padang golf.

AM61A di kawasan yang biasa di potong oleh brushcutter

AM61A di kawasan yang biasa di potong oleh brushcutter

Saya amat tertarik kerana mesin mereka kecil dan mudah di pandu di kawasan sempit seperti di bawah atau keliling pokok dan murah (deja vu! Saya dah cakap tadi eh?). Saya tak tengok lagi kualiti potongan (saya melawat kedai mereka dan melihat video) tapi saya yakin ia lebih baik dari brushcutter tapi kalau setakat rough dan mungkin padang bola atau taman, tiada masalah.

Tetapi yang paling saya suka ialah suatu video (lihat di bawah) yang menunjukkan bagaimana mesin AM61A boleh menewaskan suatu brushcutter dan menunjukkan bahawa satu mesin AM61A boleh menggantikan hingga lima brushcutter.

Kita kan mengalami masalah pekerja; samada pekerja asing yang makin susah dan mahal untuk di bawa masuk ataupun pekerja tempatan yang kurang gemar bekerja di padang golf. Pada pendapat saya, mesin AM61A ini boleh membantu dua cara untuk menambah pekerja tempatan:

1. Mengurangkan keperluan menggunakan kekuatan dan ketahanan fizikal

2. Mengurangkan jumlah pekerja maka ada kemungkinan imbuhan kepada pekerja boleh di naikkan.

Ataupun, anda boleh kurangkan pekerja dan tambah keuntungan.

Posted in Golf Course, Golf Course Superintendents, Landscape, Lanskap, Maintenance, Padang, Rumput | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

Rumput untuk Stadium

Posted by mynormas on January 27, 2015

Kesilapan memilih rumput adalah masalah utama kebanyakkan pemilik tanah, dari sekecil halaman rumah hinggalah ke sebesar padang golf. Rumput yang cantik di padang orang lain, belum tentu cantik di padang kita. Rumput yang cantik di dalam gambar, belum tentu cantik di tempat kita. Rumput yang cantik di nursery belum tentu cantik di laman kita.

Di tiap kawasan atau tanah atau tapak atau padang; redup, cuaca, iklim-mikro, keupayaan penjagaan, kegunaan dan sebagainya tak sama. Jadi jangan lah kita pilih rumput berdasarkan kecantikan atau kebagusan nya di tempat lain dan kita tangkapmuat dia di tempat kita dan berdoa supaya ia padan.

Di dalam slaid-slaid berikut saya cuba memberitahu apa yang saya pertimbangkan ketika saya membantu sebuah stadium membuat pilihan rumput. Saya cuba jadikan pemilihan rumput itu sebagai suatu proses sama seperti memilih pemenang dalam rancangan hiburan. Peserta rancangan hiburan ada menang dalam kategori tertentu dan ada peserta yang menang dalam acara keseluruhan. Begitu juga dalam pemilihan rumput; saya bahagikan proses pemilihan ke dalam tiga ‘kategori’ dan pilih pemenang untuk tiap kategori. Peserta yang paling banyak menang dalam kategori-kategori itu akan memenangi acara keseruhan. Tentunya pemilihan saya bukan muktamad, saya akan memberi ‘ranking’ dan terpulang kepada tuanpunya untuk membuat keputusan terakhir. Kadang-kadang, ada perkara yang berada di luar jangkaan seseorang. Contohnya tuanpunya mahukan rumput yang sama dengan stadium lain sediaada, atau rumput ranking kedua adalah rumput kegemaran boss, atau rumput dalam ranking pertama tiada ‘backup’ atau tiada di jual oleh pembekal/nursery lain. Maka mungkin tuanpunya mahu membuat ‘gamble’ dan memilih rumput dalam ranking kedua atau ketiga.

Menggunakan rumput yang tiada ‘backup’ adalah – pada pendapat saya – suatu keputusan yang berisiko tinggi. Padang kita  akan menjadi tebusan pembekal sekarang dan di masa yang sama, jika rumput di padang rosak atau mati seminggu sebelum suatu acara/pertandingan penting, kita tiada sumber untuk mendapat bekalan untuk menampal kawasan yang mati atau rosak.

Sebagai bonus, untuk mengelakkan pemilik padang ini menerima nasihat penjual yang memaksa mereka menggunakan terlalu banyak input sewaktu penanaman, saya telah memasukkan beberapa cadangan untuk proses tanam semula. Saya cadangkan supaya mereka kembali ke basic. Guna pasir kasar sudahlah, tidak perlu lain lain bahan seperti tanah liat, top soil yang terlalu banyak (satu lapis?) ataupun benda-benda ‘canggih’ lain.

Jika anda dalam proses memilih rumput untuk padang anda; silakan guna proses ‘3K’ ini. Jika anda ingin membuat penyampaian kepada boss anda dan anda memilih untuk menggunakan proses 3K, saya hanya minta anda beri kredit kepada saya.

Ataupun, jika anda akan membelanjakan jutaan ringgit untuk menanam padang, mengapa tidak belanja lebih kurang 0.001% dari satu juta untuk membayar seorang pakar yang telah membela rumput selama 20 tahun? Anda boleh tanya soalan ini sekarang atau anda boleh tunggu 3 tahun lagi bila soalan ini di tanya oleh pemberita, Board of Director ataupun pengguna ketika rumput di padang anda mula bermasalah.

Selamat membaca.

Posted in Golf Course, Golf Course Superintendents, Greens, Landscape, Maintenance, Padang, Padang Golf, Rumput halaman rumah, Taman | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Siram rumput

Posted by mynormas on February 7, 2014

Sprinkler irrigation in a golf course

Proses penyiraman padang golf

Menyiram adalah aktiviti ‘instinct’ penggemar rumput ataupun lanskap. Lebih dari membaja atau memotong. Mungkin kerana ia paling mudah atau paling murah atau kerana kita juga boleh merasa dahaga kita boleh empati dengan rumput yang kekurangan air.

Watering is an instinctive activity for most grass or landscape owners; especially in the Malaysian context, 2,500mm of rain notwithstanding. Whether a 200 acre golf course or postage stamp lawn, we water our lawns regularly. Two days of no rain and we would be watering our grass even if looks like it will rain later in the day.

I am arguing that the timing and schedule of watering needs to be examined.

  1. Lets not water late in the evening. Watering in the evening causes the water to left in the soil when the weather is cool and in Malaysia; humid. Damp and wet soil conditions too often can lead to diseases and algae. Plus, we are watering AFTER the grass have dehydrated! Water in the morning so that there will be water in the soil for the grass when the sun is heating up.
  2. Don’t water every 24 hours or any other regular schedule. Water deeply and irregularly. Keep in tune with the water needs of the grass, don’t stress them too much but don’t water them too easily too; we want the grass to have deep roots.
  3. There is another method called ‘syringing’ especially for grass that is cut at a low cutting height. Its about ‘wetting’ the grass when the sun is at its hottest. Don’t worry about what you read that the sun will turn the water droplets into magnifying glass type of concave lens and focus the ray onto the leaf; the water will evaporate before any major damage is done.

Kebanyakkan kita menyiram rumput, terutama nya masa baru tanam. Ini bagus. Tetapi pada pandangan saya, kebanyakkan orang terlalu banyak siram dan ‘timing’ siram juga salah. Saya mempunyai beberapa pendapat.

  1. Siram di waktu pagi. Dengan cara ini air akan ada di dalam tanah bila tiba tengahari dan matahari terik. Menyiram di waktu petang pada hari panas ibarat memberi air kepada orang yang dah nak mati kehausan. Menyiram di waktu petang juga mengakibatkan tanah basah di waktu malam yang akan menggalakkan penyakit dan lumut.
  2. Siram ikut keperluan. Bila siram, siram banyak (supaya air masuk jauh ke bawah) dan jangan siram ikut jadual. Menyiram ikut jadual menyebabkan kita siram waktu air masih ada dalam tanah dan ini 1. membazir dan 2. memanjakan rumput. Rumput tidak belajar untuk mencari air. Check tanah, dengan cara memijak ataupun mengorek sedikit dengan jari untuk tengok basah atau tidak.
  3. ‘Syringe’. Kadang kadang, matahari terlalu terik dan kita kesian kat rumput yang layu. Cahaya matahari juga boleh membakar pasir topdressing kita dan mematikan akar rerambut (root hair) di permukaan atas tanah. Apa yang saya cadangkan – terutamanya rumput yang di potong pendek dan kawasan terdedah – ialah menyejukkan rumput dengan siraman lima minit ataupun dua pusingan penuh sprinkler pada waktu tengahari dan awal petang. Jangan takut pada teori bahawa air akan bertindak sebagai kanta untuk cahaya matahari membakar daun; kalau ia dah panas macam tu, air itu akan melowap.

Jika rumput anda telah kuning akibat kurang siram; kemungkinan besar ia tidak mati, hanya menjadi dorman. Teruskan siram supaya ia tidak mati terus. Bila cuaca dah sesuai, insya Allah ia akan baik semula.

Posted in Fields, Golf Course, Golf Course Superintendents, Greens, Landscape, Lanskap, Maintenance, Padang, Padang Golf, Rumput, Taman | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Algae on golf greens

Posted by mynormas on January 2, 2013

In the context of Malaysian weather where heavy and frequent rain is the norm, plus with poorly or compacted greens, shade from surrounding trees; algae is quite common.I found this slideshare article that is very informative and thought that I should share it.

Be advised that even though the title is about golf greens, much of the info are also applicable to other parts of turfed areas (yes your lawn too madam)

If you think most of the slides’ contents are too ‘academic’ jump straight to slide number 53, though you might be searching backwards for background info but at least you know what you are looking for is what you need to know.

This is the first time I am doing this so I hope this turns out alright…

Posted in Fields, Golf club, Golf Course, Golf Course Superintendents, Greens, Padang, Padang Golf, Rumput, Rumput halaman rumah | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Choosing grass

Posted by mynormas on October 18, 2011

One of the most common question I get asked is; what type of grass should I use?

There are actually three important criteria to think about when choosing grass, and I write this in layman terms, mainly:

  1.  The condition of the area – whether it is shaded, it gets too much water (for example it is next to non-porous area e.g. road or pavement or perhaps it is out in the open with poor or no irrigation).
  2. The budget for future maintenance of the grassed area and
  3. The use of the grassed area; simply whether it is more for aesthetics or more as a playing field. In the golf course, this question will also refer to whether that area is a green or a rough.

Now for home-owners (and I get a lot more questions from these people) I usually tell them the order of priority will be 1. The condition of the area; 2. The budget and time they are willing to spend on maintenance and 3. The use; whether the lawn is for impressing passers-by or is it for grandchildren to play on? Stuff like that.

The Bermuda carpetgrass planted at cost under the bamboo? Dead. The Cowgrass that came on its own for free? Nice. Lesson? Use cowgrass under shade.

For golf courses, playing fields, stadiums and large areas like municipal councils, the order of priority is reversed: I ask them to think of what is the use of the area – whether it is for greens, for tees, for out-of-play areas,

football, picnic, or whatever. Then they should think of the budget they are willing to spend for maintenance (and I would like to emphasise FOR MAINTENANCE) and lastly only about the condition of the area. Why is the order reversed? Because, for these kind of construction, the condition can be modified, trees can be moved, or the green can be redesigned away from the large 100 year-old tree, for instance.

Most of these owners, be them developers, local government or large bungalow owners etc, will have a huge budget during construction but when it comes to routine daily maintenance; they scrimp and save.

Zoysia is a nice grass but needs to be cut once a week - at least. If you can't afford to do that, why use it?

So what I advise is: design and pick plants for the place so that it will be cheap and easy to maintain in the future! Naturally,  people want the best and most designers/contractors who are paid by percentage don’t mind at all to oblige.

But I digress. The world of grass is divided into three main areas; warm-season and cool-season. The third area? What is termed as the transition zone area, this area is cold enough in the winter to make it difficult to maintain warm-season grasses and warm enough in the summer to make it difficult to grow cool-season grasses, therefore, no single species of grass is well adapted in this region.

So there are only two types of grasses; warm-season and cool-season grasses. In the transition zone areas, they will use quick growing cool-season grasses in the autumn and early winter and warm-season grasses in spring/summer.

What are the characteristics of warm season grasses? They thrive in air temperatures from 27 – 35 degrees Celsius and soil temperatures of 21 – 32 degrees Celsius. They’ll lose chlorophyll in autumn and turn from green to brown.

Cool-season grasses grow very well when soil temperature is between 10 – 18 degrees Celsius and air temperatures a cool 15 – 24 degrees Celsius.

Tall fescue is a cool-season grass

Other than those, there are of course a few other things that should be taken into consideration too. Soil types, quality of water for irrigation – in fact, quantity of water too; there are a few other things if we want to go into details. But lets leave it at that for now.


Weights and Measures, Metric Conversions Weights and Measures,
Metric Conversions

Posted in Fields, Greens, Landscape, Lanskap, Maintenance, Padang, Padang Golf, Rumput, Rumput halaman rumah, Rumput secara am, Taman | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

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