Always a challenge

We managed to get the aerifying done that we planned this week. No small task with the remnants of a hurricane bearing down on us. As I have explained here previously aerifying is best done as a dry process. Using solid tines helps in wetter weather as you do not bring up a core that can turn to mud and really present a problem, but topdressing has to be done dry. If it rains on the sand it just sits there and could eventually smother the turf, or if the sand does not dry it will not brush in well as the picture below shows the first green we did (practice) vs the last (9). The contractor we use for the deep tine aerifying could not get a boat reservation until late morning. My plan was to topdress first and have him punch holes right through the sand. Never tried it but have heard of success stories. A few showers in the morning killed that idea and made our solid tine aerifying of the collars and approaches more enjoyable. Did not seem to bother Bert a bunch as he napped right through them.
slept right through the shower, silly dog
notice how clean the pg looks
It was just another tribute day to ole Mr. Murphy and his law of "if it can go wrong it will". Started with Will mowing up the rope used for the driving range with the rotary mower, victim of the lack of daylight, it was coiled up in the rough next to the tee. Continued with the new Deere trim mower breaking, the tractor getting stuck in reverse, two heads being aerified with one needing immediate attention, and this was all before 10 am. The mower is still down waiting for a cable, the tractor was an easy fix and went on to break the sprinkler mentioned above and the rest of the day seemed dull by comparison. We have been fighting with the utility vehicles lately which are stalling and slowing down production so that was expected. Aside from some abuse to the collars due to apparent lack of roots and a few greens having too much sand on them it turned out to be a good day. I applied a wetting agent, which will help the sand into the turf, along with some calcium and micro nutrients to help flush salts. We watered them in light, 10 min, and hoped for the natural rains predicted from former hurricane Issac. Woke up to a dry deck and had to water the greens heavy, 45 min. Tested the water mid-cycle and it was pretty salty at 1.6 micro siemens. Not as bad as it tested over the weekend at 2 ms and still not as bad as the 4.3 ms we registered in July but bad enough to not want to use it. Just to add insult to injury it rained hard for 2 minutes dropping .08 towards the tail end of the irrigation cycle. As the mainland was getting pummeled with 2 inches per hour in spots we dried up enough to blow off some excess sand and then after another .03 dried up again enough to brush the greens and blow them again. So today they look pretty good and when they dry enough we will continue to blow and possibly brush more sand around and hopefully roll them.
broken pieces stacking up early

5 collar not taking abuse well

close up of 7 collar being pulled up by aerifying

salt damage on hydrangea

rose bush on 3 sending out some late blooms

1 of 2 carts of hand picked crab and goose grass while waiting for greens to dry
We normally have the greens open the very next day but were delayed by watering them in the morning since it did not rain, and I am trying to avoid using our water, we still had them open by 11 yesterday. With the storm going all around us we managed to get them brushed again and excess sand blown off so we are pretty much on schedule and with a fresh cup today they appear to be playing fine. If we get them rolled and they continue to grow through the topdressing we will cut them over the weekend and all will be normal soon enough. We are ahead of schedule on aerifying and will continue to punch solid holes in fairways and rough to create a spot for seed to help recover from another tough summer. Thanks for your cooperation.
Will punching weak rough and fairway spots

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