Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Greens Aeration Complete

Our greens aeration was completed before the rain set in late Tuesday morning.  Due to the excessively dry conditions, we did not punch the front approaches to the greens.  The depth set for the project was too deep and would have damaged the approaches/collars due to the dry conditions we have experienced over the last few weeks.  We will punch the approaches as soon as the ground gets soft enough, hopefully in the next few days with the predicted rain coming in Wednesday night into Thursday.

We completed greens Pg, 1-3, 5-7, 9-16 on Monday.  Greens 17-18 were punched Monday but were not completed in total until Tuesday morning.  4 and 8 were initially skipped on Monday because they had gotten very firm over the last few days and needed an extra day of irrigation to reduce the potential for severe surface disruption.  They were completed Tuesday.  The rains came right at the time we finished the last green.

Our process included laying the sand on the greens first.  This prevented the heavy topdressor and hauler from leaving tire ruts across the green when it was already aerated and the surface softened.  We then used our Redexim 7316 Vertidrain punching holes on average 8" deep with 1/2" tines spaced about 3" apart.  This placed about 1.5 million holes and or channels in our greens surfaces and down through our aged soil profiles.  We normally use a spin attachment during our normal topdressing which we are able to apply a small amount of sand over about 4-6 greens.  We used our brush attachment during this process which laid a heavy band of sand much heavier than our standard topdressing layer.  About 1 to 1 1/4 topdressor loads per green.  We applied about 35-40 tons of sand to the 2 acres of green surfaces that we have.  It would take about 30-40 minutes to aerate each green depending upon the size.

We then applied a product called Renovate Plus from Earthworks which provides a number of products in one bag: Approximately 50 pounds per green more or less.

  • Dry Kelp Meal, seaweed is a great stress reducing product for golf greens.
  • Chicken Manure Compost is a great food source for microbes
  • Hard and soft rock phosphate
  • Sulfate of Potash
  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Zeolite which posses the ability to hold plant nutrients for efficient plant uptake in our straight sand topdressing.
We then used our smaller pull behind blower to blow the sand into the holes as well as employees with backpack blowers to speed up the process.  This would take about 30-45 minutes dependent upon the amount of staff we had and the size of the green as well.

The greens were then brushed to smooth the remaining sand on the surface of the green.

We then rolled the greens surfaces to smooth over the holes and the surface of the green.

The aeration provides a number of benefits for the greens.
  • Allows water to penetrate more quickly into the green profile.
  • Exchanges gases with oxygen penetrating into the root system and Carbon dioxide which can build up in the green profile to exit.
  • New channel for roots to move into more freely.
  • Replaces the very fine sand that was originally topdressed with to a larger particled material which will allow water to move more freely through the profile.
  • Drier and firmer putting surfaces which improve ball roll.
  • Replaces and reduces thatch which can build up fron dying plant material.

Russ with the Verti-drain aerator.

Staff using pull behind blower and back packs.  A majority of the sand stays on the green and goes into the holes on the green.

Did not get the brush in action but the brush that is pulled behind the cart to smooth the sand on the greens.

Jeff rolling the completed green.
The finished product

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