We have just finished up our second aerification of the spring. We got a little more aggressive with this aerification than in the past in order to remove a larger quantity of material going into the summer. By doing this, it is going to allow us to manage our moisture levels more precisely. This will be achieved by not having an excessive thatch accumulation within the upper portion of the rootzone. Removing this organic material will allow us to keep the putting surfaces smoother and firmer, without having to utilize excessive maintenance practices during time periods when the bentgrass greens are not able to recuperate at night due to higher air and soil temperatures.
The aerification process was completed by the sequence listed:
1.) We used a Toro ProCore aerifier with 0.5 inch OD tines on 1.5 inch spacings at a depth of 3 inches, we then removed all of the plugs. 2.) We used verticut reels on our Toro Greensmaster Triplex mower set at 1 inch spacings and cut to a depth of 0.25 inches and made passes at a 45 degree angle to the aerifier passes. 3.) We used our Buffalo Turbines to blow off the excess material and then topdressed the greens with enough sand to fill in our aerification holes and verticut lines. 4.) We used a drag brush and made a pass across the entirety of each green to drag in the sand. 5.) The Turf Care Facility staff used push brooms to fill in any empty holes that were remaining on the greens. 6.) We blew off any remaining sand on the greens and we then rolled the greens smooth with our Smithco Speed Rollers. 7.) Finally, we applied our calcium products and wetting agents. We then flushed the greens to remove excessive salts in the upper rootzone.
The finished product has the appearance of a green that has not been aerified until you are up close and personal. We will now adjust our fertilization program to promote growth and recovery, this will aid in filling the greens back in to an acceptable level of grass coverage.
As always, any questions, comments or concerns is always appreciated.