Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Aeration Recap!

Hello and welcome to The Greenkeeper!  Today is Wednesday, March 11th and I'm happy to report our spring greens renovation is complete.  Over the past two days my team and I executed an aggressive deep, solid-tine and shallow, hollow-core aeration and topdressing plan.  Coupled with the addition of two soil amendments we've now set our greens on a successful path for the upcoming season.  This was the first core removal performed on the putting greens since March last year, removing nearly 10% of the surface area. Core Aeration  

If you reviewed the linked article above you noticed 20% surface area impact is the recommended annual goal.  We will reach this with our second aeration (solid-tine only) in early June. This was the second consecutive year we incorporated the deep, solid-tine process in advance of core removal.  Our soil physical properties continue to perform like new in the deeper regions of the root zone, and the creation of channels connecting the upper and lower portions aids in water penetration, which based on recent rainfall patterns are direly needed.  Here's a look at some of the action.
Core Removal on Heels of Solid Deep-Tine
The reason the tweet above states "obligatory" is because we have a rule in the world of Turf Twitter, no slo-mo or it didn't happen.  With the recent time change (Spring forward) the team was forced to work well into the evening and we cleared the final green slightly after dusk.
A Full Day
With all 22 greens (122,607 square feet) aerified and cores removed, Day 2 began by rolling multiple times, followed by the application of soil amendments, applying nearly 50 tons sand topdressing and brushing in.  This was followed with some hand brooming to touch-up, followed by another roll and irrigation to help settle the sand topdressing.
We unfortunately were delayed for approximately two hours just shy of midday when light rain moved across the Queen City.  The rainfall amount wasn't much, but it slammed the breaks on applying kiln dried sand successfully.  Thankfully the weather cooperated much better once the rain cleared as we enjoyed a cool, drying breeze and near perfect conditions to complete the process.
Final Green!
Finished Product!
It's always a relief to wrap up the spring greens renovation.  Hats off to the agronomy team, six of whom weren't with us at this time last year.  In the coming days we will continue to roll the greens to smooth any tire marks, treat with soil wetting agent, and fertilize to aid recovery.  I am also planning a light verticut in two directions early next week to help move the sand deeper into the canopy and hopefully pinch the holes slightly.  

In other news we finally managed to complete our spring crabgrass pre-emergent herbicide application.  Mother Nature really made it a difficult challenge this year with the saturating rains.  There were days when the course was simply too wet to tolerate the weight and traffic of the sprayer.  If you haven't yet applied crabgrass preventer on your home lawn, the clock is ticking.  You do still have time, but I would get the application complete before next Friday (March 20).  

With aeration and preemergence in the books, next up for my team is some selective, post-emergent herbicide applications where needed, mulching of all landscaped areas (golf course and clubhouse grounds), and hopefully mowing some grass soon.  Despite the mild winter conditions as measured by temperature, it certainly felt like a long, dreary one with all the rainfall.  Everyone on your agronomy team is ready for spring and green grass!

On a final note, I'll leave you with this.  Tomorrow is the beginning of The Players Championship.  Recently, Connor T. Lewis, host of the Talking Golf History podcast had former PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman on as a guest.  To learn about the history of how The Players Championship came to exist and its early days you can listen by clicking HERE.  Enjoy!

See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton, CGCS, MG

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