Saturday, May 9, 2009

Aeration: Coming Soon to a Green & Tee Near You

In an earlier post a couple weeks ago, we wrote about Pest Management and the many Integrated Pest Management techniques we employ throughout the year. There are several cultural practices we regularly perform that are critically important for general turf health and vigor, and in turn, this imparts resistance to pest damage.

Aeration, both core aeration (where plugs of soil are removed) or solid aeration (where only a channel is created but also fractures the soil), is one of the most important cultural practices, besides mowing and watering, we do for the overall long term condition of our turf.

We will be core aerating the greens next week, Monday May, 11 and the tees thereafter. The process on greens should only take a day if weather conditions cooperate. We’ll be using small coring tines, which are not much larger than a pencil, and after aerating, the cores will be broken up with a drag mat to reincorporate the sandy root zone material.

Using smaller tines improves recovery time and playability.

We will then mow and roll the greens to smooth them at which time they should be very playable. Between using small tines and the fact that the weather has finally warmed, accelerating overall plant growth, the holes should recover quickly. We’ve also applied nutrients which will assist this process as well.

Breaking down the cores and reincorporating the root zone mix with a steel drag mat.

The inconvenience should be minimal but the benefits are numerous:
• Reduces thatch accumulation (organic layer that creates puffy conditions) through physical removal and the addition of sand
• Improves water movement into the soil and throughout the soil profile
• Improves oxygen movement into the soil and gaseous by-products out of the soil
• Improves root depth and mass aiding drought tolerance
• Provides an avenue to incorporate improved root zone material (sand)
• Provides an avenue to incorporate plant protectants to aid disease management (Monday we will apply a fungicide for our management of Fairy Ring disease that must be moved down into the soil. The small aeration holes are ideal for improving this penetration into the soil.)
• Improves the overall health and condition of all turf areas.

An illustration of some of the benefits.
Hopefully you will agree that the short term inconvenience is worth these many benefits that will last well into the season and help us provide you with high quality putting and playing surfaces.

Thank you for your patience during this very important cultural practice.

No comments:

Post a Comment

***If you are a first time visitor to this blog and would like to view our Welcome Message, which includes the 2008 Year in Review slide show, click HERE.