SHARE
The finer details . . . Maheno Bowling Club president Graeme Fisher (left) and Kakanui organic famer Jim O'Gorman examine a soil sample at the green. PHOTO: GUS PATTERSON

The Maheno Bowling Club’s lawn has gone from brown to green.

When the surface started wearing thin and developing bare patches, the club approached Kakanui organic farmer Jim O’Gorman for help.

‘‘We had been talking to Jim after the season had closed last year and he was interested in trying his organic products on part of the green to see what it would do to the green and how it would recover it,’’ Maheno Bowling Club greenkeeper Graeme Fisher said.

The green had been inflicted with a parasite.

‘‘It’s called a nematode; it eats the roots of a plant.

‘‘The bowling green is made up of a cotula weed — they call it Maniototo — and the nematodes enjoy having a bit of a nibble on the roots and it can cause bare patches if it gets too bad on the green.’’

The club decided to use Mr O’Gorman’s ‘‘compost tea’’, which mixed organic matter with fungus and bacteria spores to restore balance to the soil, on a few areas as a trial.

Mr O’Gorman took soil tests to figure out how much to use.

The ‘‘compost tea’’ was an alternative to more conventional sprays and fertilisers, Mr O’Gorman said.

‘‘It’s trying to look after the planet.

‘‘One of the biggest things at the moment is changing climate systems and weather patterns — this is one way of looking at it.’’

And the Maheno Bowling Club had noticed some great improvements, Mr Fisher said.

‘‘We’re quite happy with the progress. It’s trying to find a balance between the organic side of it and the other side of it.

‘‘The rest of the green [that has not been treated] hasn’t recovered as much as we would have liked, but it’s playable.’’

The club had only eight full-time members at the start of the season, but had added about 12 social players.

‘‘We are always looking for more to help the club survive. We are always on the lookout and trying to find ways to find new members.’’