Remember the flooding in late July? 12 inches of rain in a 10 day period...
It resulted in many "bird bath" areas (low spots which held water for long periods) dieing and requiring re-grassing efforts such as sodding and/or this aerification and overseeding procedure
The small aerification holes provide improved soil drying and ideal locations for...
seed to be planted and protected during establishment.
A light covering with a sand/peat mixture further helps to provide good seed/soil contact and aids moisture holding during critical seed germination period. Unfortunately additional heavy rain occurred after several areas were complete and the entire operation had to be repeated. And actually due to even further untimely rain events, in some cases we repeated this work three times!
but...eventually we had good germination and today these areas are filling in and recovering quite well.
We picked a bit of bad year to perform several green expansions, locations where we are recapturing former putting surface areas which had been lost over many years due to cautious mowing practices. These areas were very gradually lowered in height from approach height, down to green height, over the entire early spring through mid-July period. They were beautiful until the 100 degree day of July 22nd, and the flooding and extreme high heat and high humidity period that followed for many days, at which time we saw significant thinning. This wasn't all together unexpected, as in 1999 and 2000 when we did similar expansion, we had similar turf loss. Fortunately the following year these areas had little to no thinning. I'm hoping this is the situation next year!
In the past I experimented with this technique whereby we aerated a thin area and removed cores, then aerated a good quality area to serve as healthy stock cores which we then inserted into the thin area holes. This provides some improvement in appearance and eventual spreading and recovery, but mainly so that mowing equipment (we still need to regularly mow these areas) would be supported such that seed, we also plant in these same areas, is somewhat protected from compression damage. Above is an example where we employed my "core transplanting" technique. Why not? They do it with hair, why not with turf? It works!
Projects: We've had a few!!
An earlier project, after we completed installing a new cedar shake roof, on the Half way House, was replacement of the tired fencing and landscape on the south side.
Paddle Project site work...installing storm drain lines (shown), and sump pump discharge drains (not shown) between courts.
Paddle Project site work...saw cutting area prior to trenching, from Grounds Operations Center to new Paddle House for data, phone, and cable lines.
Plenty of concrete rubble beneath the pavement made this a bit of a challenge!
One thing that this years flooding showed us was the exact locations where we need more drainage!
Our goal is to place additional lines and drop inlets in all these areas...there are many and this will take us a year or more to complete, but we'll keep working at it as long as it takes to help prevent, or at least significantly decrease, flood damaged turf in the future.
Here we are working on #18 fairway (the same location as above photo)... We've installed about 1000 ft (in 3 different fairways) so far and hope to do at least as much before the ground freezes.
An earlier location (#13 fairway) nearly fully recovered from flood damage and subsequent drainage installation and then seeding and core planting procedures. Drainage works!
It's that time of year...Aeration. Tees aeration is complete, fairway core aeration and greens aeration will begin next week, October 24. Tine size of greens will be 3/8th inch so putting quality will not be terribly affected.
Core processing includes dragging to reincorporate the desirable sand mixture that exists and then blowing and removing the small turf/mat remains.
Several of our fairways (lower, slower to drain) have been sand topdressed over the past couple years. This practice has begun to show benefit such as surface firmness, surface smoothness (improved mowing quality), surface drainage, and divot recovery. Other benefits will occur over time. We're applying sand to these fairways again at the present time.
Solid tine aeration post topdressing. Another benefit... With sand topdressing we do not want to remove cores (as we will soon do on many other fairways) and as such we do not have the core processing issues (nor mud mess issue should damp conditions occur during process!) that conventional core aeration has. It's a much cleaner, less potentially problematic process compared to conventional methods. More later on this...
I think the above brings us to present on special projects and special tasks underway. I'll try not to keep away so long before the next post!