Monday, March 17, 2014

Spring Greens Aeration 2014

We were slowed a few hours by some very cold temperatures this morning but once we got a rhythm going, our small group of 8 guys banged out 11 greens.  PG, 1-9 and 16 is aerated and top-dressed.  At the same time, we were charging our water system so we could have water over the next few days to help dissolve our fertilizer application and settle the topdressing material.  We will aerate greens 15-18 tomorrow and might try to complete 10-14 over the next couple of days if we can do it without disrupting play.  We lost about 2 hours of work time this morning so potentially it might take us until Monday to do the last few greens.

I made a couple videos explaining a couple of our processes today.  The first video shows our vertical mowing that we did after mowing the greens.  Vertical mowing helps to cut bent grass blades which by their natural growth habit like to lay over.  This process will also rejuvenate new leaves from the crown of the plant.  We did get deep enough to get into the beginning of the thatch layer.  Diluting the thatch layer with sand creates a surface that drains well, allows the thatch to breakdown more quickly and provides a firmer surface which reduces the size of ball marks.  The sand also protects the crown of the plants which is where the roots and shoots are joined together to form the plant.  Realize when I'm speaking of a plant, I'm talking about 2,000 plants per square foot on a green measuring 5,000 sq feet or 10,000,000 plants per green. I great deal of living breathing plants to keep alive.

The video below describes in great detail the work we are trying to accomplish today.  It shows the deep-tine Verti-drain machine which was used to punch solid holes in our greens.  We top dressed the green with sand after the mowing and vertical mowing.  Topdressing the green before the holes were punched reduces the tracking potential that can occur taking a heavy load of topdressing sand over a softened green surface that has been aerated.

We used our blower that we pull with a cart to blow sand into the holes and excess sand is then moved around with backpack blowers to the holes that remain open.

We then brush the green to smooth out the remaining sand and the green is then rolled with our vibratory roller.  The roller helps to smooth the greens.  The greens are not completely smooth yet.  More rolling and water applications and time will help to smooth the greens out over the next couple of weeks.  We will probably not mow the greens for a few days but will be rolling.  Our first mowing will be a dry mow which means we do not mow until the surface is dry so we do not drag sand around on the green surface and disrupt play.  I would expect the greens to be back in normal condition by April 1st.

2 green completed.

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