Aerifying week

Well sometimes you just get the short straw. We had all the best intentions this week of aerifying all sorts of stuff and adding some seed and then topdressing with sand to fill the holes and smooth the surfaces. The sand application also aids in thatch management. All of these processes are best accomplished in dry weather. We had some early rain yesterday before I awoke. I studied the radar several times before deciding to head out attempting to aerify collars and approaches. The storm was west of us heading north. Sure looked like we might get away with it. While on my second hole and Will on his first it opened up and we received about a 1/2 inch. All the cores we pulled were saturated and cleaning them up was going to be messy. We all dried off and waited out the worst of the storm. After a democratic vote we all decided to plod on and get the wet cores up. It was a muddy mess but we managed. The contractor arrived and i proceeded to usher him around the course solid deep tine aerifying the greens and also a few tees. They came out great and we even raised the setting from about 10 inches deep to approx. 2 inches and did most of the second fairway.

cleaned up collar

troops cleaning up the muddy cores

more of the same

very labor intensive and not much fun as the cores are heavy

finished product after deep tine aerifying

solid tine aerifying the 2nd fairway

The main reason to pull cores is to remove thatch. It also allows us to remove the soil and add straight sand for better drainage. The sand added to the existing turf will also help break down the thatch left behind.

The above video is of the contractor deep tine aerifying the 9th green. You can use hollow tines and pull a core on this machine but that would bring up some nasty clay we have down deep and possibly contaminate the surface. So we stick with solid tines here and use hollow on our machine for our other aerifications in the year. This machine also fractures the soil much deeper than our machine so it gives us more compaction relief. I discussed in a bit more detail the differences in tine selection on a spring blog post here Imagine the tine in the middle of the picture a foot long instead of 6". That is why we refer to it as deep tine aerating.

Today we continued the collar aerification and cleanup. It was still to damp and misty to apply topdressing to the greens. We instead focused on spiking and seeding the three damaged fairways mentioned in the previous post. I applied topdressing to those areas mainly to cover the seed. Being wet it will stick to the cart tires and not make it into the soil where it needs to be to germinate. Between the holes punched yesterday and the slits today hopefully we can get some into the ground and start the recovery process.

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