Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Aeration Report

Except for the two hour frost delay Monday, the process of aeration went smoother than ever.  With the help of our new aerator, some staff working on their spring break, and a new strategy, we were able to complete all the aerating and topdressing.  The course is open in it's entirety, but we are still very busy trying to smooth out the greens and speed the recovery process.  We are rolling, brushing, removing excess sand, etc..and will be doing this as long as it takes to get things back in order.

A recap of what we did.....

Step 1
Soil Reliever 
A contractor performs this step with 4 machines that can get roughly 8 inches below the surface with 1/2" diameter solid tines.  This addresses the part of the greens profile that our machines never see.  It helps to improve the rate at which water moves through the soil and breaks through layers that can impede root growth and turf health.  We used to do this every other year, but the greens are aging and can benefit from it more often.  We combined it with our core aeration so you wouldn't have to deal with two separate aerations.

soil reliever in action
Step 2
Roll Greens
We followed the soil reliever with our roller just to firm up the surface prior to topdressing and core aerating.

Step 3
We used about 80 tons of sand in an effort to fill the holes.  We did this before core aerating so we wouldn't be driving a heavy machine over a soft freshly aerated green.

Step 4
Core Aerate
We used our new Pro Core 648 aerator with 1/2" diameter tines set to 2.5" depth.  This removed some of the excess organic matter that we are constantly trying to keep in check.  The machine pulls the cores to the edge of the green where they are then shoveled up by staff.  We hauled the cores to our wildflower beds where they will be spread out.  

Note the sand already on the green and the soil reliever holes to the right of the aerator
Step 5
We brushed the sand multiple directions to try and get it into the aeration holes.

Rob brushing the 5th green 

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