Our mission


To help Bowling Club Greenkeepers by providing a FREE platform to ask questions and share knowledge on Green Maintenance.



About Essex County Bowling


Essex County Bowling consists of nine groups in total.   The "Essex County Bowling Association Group One" area includes both the Tendring Hundred & District Bowling Association and the Colchester Borough Bowling Association.


Tendring Hundred & District Bowling Association


Brantham BC

Brightlingsea BC

Clacton BC

Dovercourt BC

Frinton BC

Happy Valley BC

Holland On Sea BC

Kirby Le Soken BC

Mistley & Manningtree BC

Thorpe Le Soken BC

Wivenhoe BC



Colchester Borough Bowling Association 


Arclight BC

Colchester Ardleigh BC

Colchester West End BC

Mersey Island BC

Mistley & Manningtree BC

Severalls BC

Three Clubs BC

Tiptree BC

West Mersey BC

Woods BC

Narrative by

Mark Brown


One can't help but notice that many greens are suffering from a number of problems.  One of the biggest issues clubs face is the fact that typically, greens helpers are recruited from the membership, most of whom have little or no experience of green keeping.


Bits of Knowledge are gleaned along the way but very frequently bad habits are picked up too.  It struck me and a few others I have talked to, that a forum to share information, ask questions, beg steal and borrow, might be useful.


Most local greens are similarly constructed and obviously largely share the same weather conditions.  It therefore follows on that problems and remedies should be similar.


As a start, I have put on here all the treatments we have carried out at Frinton over the last year.  This clearly excludes mowing and power brushing, swishing and hand brushing.


You may notice that there is no mention of top dressing, we haven't for 5 years and I have not seen a green in this area that needs to.  I am happy to discuss this issue with anyone who is interested.


This program is working very well for us and is also bio friendly.  Hopefully everyone will start contributing to this forum to the benefit of all our local greens.


It seems clear that many greens are not as good as they might be. Most of us rely on volunteers who have no reason to have the correct knowledge for greens management and in many cases just carry on with whatever their predecessors did.


I have spent several years researching the art of keeping sports turf correctly, which has involved challenging previous practices and getting to the ‘heart’ of our green’s soil structure. Of course the science will evolve but the basics remain the same.


My goal here is to lay out our particular annual programme in order that others can at least get an idea how we do it. That is not to say everyone should follow, every green is slightly different but if it prompts others to ask ‘why’ or ‘how’ we are starting to achieve a dialogue between all of us that will hopefully help everyone to turn out a better green.

Programme and Product Information


Before laying out our programme, I will give a brief explanation of the products that we use.’


You may notice that the products detailed below are essentially ‘natural’.  This is not some ‘fad’, these are supplements scientifically proven. Reliance on high salt index fertilisers and frequent fungicide application tied in with regular top dressing are all at the root of problems suffered by many greens today. It is, in fact, good cultural practices that ensure the health of the green not application of ‘miracle’ products so often  recommended by the suppliers of them.


The products we use are designed to work with the soil and encourage the fungi and microbes vital to soil health. Once soil health is fully restored, the organisms within start to turn thatch to humus which naturally fertilises the soil. Provided good cultural practices are maintained, one’s green keeping programme becomes significantly cheaper.



Formula Green- plant extracts and low salt index additives

Chelated trace elements ( chelated essentially means they are easily available to the plant), Molasses, Seaweed, Humic and Fulvic acids and Amino acids.

Bio Tabs- a soluble tablet that contains 4 types of beneficial fungi and 5 types of beneficial bacteria. It replaces microbes destroyed by chemicals,drought, compaction and dry patch. Assists repair of disease scars and dry patch. Increases root mass. Makes nutrients more soluble and available to the plant. Helps to convert thatch to humus.


Compost Tea- Re populates soil with microbes that naturally occur in healthy soil.


Revolution- a high tech wetting agent that not only assists water penetration but also water retention. We have just started trialling Supa Yucca as a natural and cheaper replacement. Yet to see how effective it is.


Humigranule-adds humus to soil with many benefits including, stabilising ph, improved nutrient uptake, increased stress tolerance, improved seed germination and increased root growth.

Bioactive RZ- combination of beneficial fungi, micro nutrients, trace minerals and humic and fulvic acids. Similar benefits to Humigranule 
ProloNG- extended release, low salt index nitrogen fertiliser- ideal as an over winter feed and to kick start spring growth.


Liquid NK - bio stimulant and fertiliser with seaweed, humates, urea based nitrogen and salt free potassium.


NOTE:  Probably the single most important thing any club should do is to have a proper soil test done. You cannot do a job ignorant of your specific soil conditions.  If you get it done through John Quinn at Bowls Central, he will interpret the results and write a programme for you.  Although John does his job for profit, he is passionate about green keeping and has around 40 years experience. I have learned a lot from him and speaking as I find, our green is in very good general health, no small thanks to him

(and no I’m not on commission!!)


Below is our last years schedule of works. Please feel free to discuss any matters on this Green help portal and e-mail me if I can help.


Mark Brown - Head Greenkeeper, Frinton Bowls Club


E-mail: greenkeeper@4x4it.co.uk


Greenkeepers Diary

Mark Brown, Frinton BC




7th Sorell Rolled
7th Compost T plus 3 Litres of Revolution plus 2 Litres Liquid NK, plus 2 Litres Formula Green, Plus 2 Bio Tabs in 100 Litres Water
8th Compost T in 50 Litres of water
9th Compost T in 50 Litres of water
14th Verti-Cut
16th Sorell Rolled plus 3 litres chelated Iron in 50 Litres Water
21st Sorell Rolled
28th Sorell Rolled


4th Verti-Cut
6th Sorell Rolled
6th Compost T plus 0.5 Litre of SUPA YuCCA plus 2 litres of liquid NK plus 2 Litres formula green plus 2 bio tabs in 100 litres of water
7th Compost T in 50 Liters 
8th Compost T in 50 Liters
15th Verti-Cut

Renovation Time

18th Scarify and Cleanup
19th Scarify Perimeter and Cleanup
20th Scarify 
22nd Finish Scarify
25th Clear-up and Hollow tyne
26th Finish Hollow Tyne
26th Smash cores with Verti-Cut
27th apply 10 bags Humi Granual plus 6 bags of Bio active RZ and Drag Matt 3 ways
27th Apply 1.5 Bags BARENBRUG Ultra Fine Seed and Drag Matt in.
27th Apply approx 2 Tons of sieved worm casts as top dressing and water in
27th Start repairing Edges
29th Finish repairing Edges



2nd 3 bags of prolong plus 2 litres of formula green plus 2 bio tabs in 60 litres of water
16th Slitted and Chisel tyned
25th Compost T in 50 litres of water
26th Compost T In 50 Litres of water
27th Compost T in 50 litres of water
31st 3 litres of chelated iron in 50 litres of water

12th Spiked two ways
14th 1.5 litres of Formula Green + 2 Bio Tabs in 60 Litres Water
14th Sprayed Banks with Iron Sulphate for moss
21st Spiked and applied 2 bags of Prolong 
28th 3 litres of Chelated Iron in 50 Litres of water

21st Spiked and applied 1.5 litres of Formula Green + 2bio Tabs in 60 Litres of Water

24th Spiked 
25th 1.5 Litres of Formula green + 2 Bio Tabs in 60 Litres Water
27th 3 litres Chelated Iron in 75 Litres of water
30th Spiked


13th Spiked
13th 1.5 Litres of Formula Green + 2 Bio Tabs in 60 Litres Water
14th 4 bags of Humate Soil Conditioner 
27th electric raked

1st Spiked
1st 2 bags of Prolong
15th Spiked
17th Compost T plus 1.5 Litres of Formula Green in 100 litres of water
18th Compost T plus 2 Bio Tabs in 60 Litres Water
20th Scarified and Sorell Rolled
27th Sorell Rolled

5th Spiked
11th Spiked
17th Verti-Cut
18th Compost T plus 3 Litres of Revolution in 100 Litres
19th Compost T plus 2 Bio Tabs plus 1.5 Litres of Formula Green in 60 Litres
24th Sorell Rolled
26th Verti-Cut
30th 3 Litres Chelated Iron in 50 Litres Water


3rd Sorell Rolled
4th Slitted
8th Spiked
8th Compost T plus 1 litre of Revolution on dry areas only
15th Sorell Rolled
17th Sorell Rolled
19th Compost T plus 3 Litres of Revolution plus 2 Litres of Formula Green plus 2 Bio Tabs plus 2 Litres of Liquid NK in 100 Litres water
22nd Spiked, Compost T in 50 Litres of Water




5th Verti-Cut
7th Spiked
8th Compost T plus 2 Litres Mollasses in 50 Litres Water
9th Compost T plus 3 Litres Chelated Iron in 50 Litres of Water
19th Spiked
19th 2 Litres Liquid NK, 2Litres Formula Green plus 2 Bio Tabs in 100 Litres Water
20th Compost T in 50 Litres of Water
26th Verti-Cut 
30th  Sorrel Rolled


3rd  Verti-Cut Direction B
9th 3 Litre s Chelated Iron in 50 Litres of Water
13th Spiked
13th Compost T plus 3 Litres of Revolution plus 2 litres of NK plus 2 Litres of Formula Green plus 2 Bio Tabs in 100 Litres of water
19th  Sorrel Roll
20th Verti-Cut
24th Spiked

The above diary does not include the regular Power brushing , Switching and Cutting of the Green.