Friday, September 27, 2013

Put a stamp on Fall Aerification

Not much to report on the final two days of Aerification as emphasis was mainly placed on returning the golf course into shape for play today (Friday).

On Wednesday, we finished poking and cleaning up the remaining tees on 13-18 and begun mowing rough, push mowing and putting the first cut on Fairways following the slice that afternoon.

Thursday had much of the same theme, we mowed and cleaned.   However, we did put a roll and double broom on greens in the afternoon.  Max and I applied fertilizer to all the putting surfaces following the broom.

The guys using push brooms to work the sand into the canopy
Max and I spending some quality time to wrap up a busy week
All in All a very successful aerification.  Greens, Tees and Fairways all received some much needed attention as we continue to build healthier turf to lay the foundation for the future of Longue Vue.  Thank you for the support and cooperation to conduct these task and we look forward to providing a great golf course for the remainder of the season!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Day Two Recap

Day Two was a success, it started off foggy but turned into a beautiful productive day!


We started the day by rolling all the greens prior to topdressing to work out any imperfections that were created from all the traffic due to pulling cores and deep tinning.  Another issue with pulling cores is the pulling of the drain lines on all the XGD greens (as seen here on #4); although just a few seasons old now, these lines still have developed the root mass in comparison to the rest of the putting surface and a lot of heaving occurs.

Following the roll, we began topdressing the greens.  Sand is paramount to the success of a healthy putting surface and improves playability with firmness and surface drainage.

Our new material handler improved efficiency on the day, turning a 8 man job in the past (using a dump truck and shovels) into a 2 man job allowing to get started on coring tees with the rest of the staff.

These views never get old!

After a green was completed, we used a coco drag mat to work the sand into the holes and canopy of the putting surface.

Finished product, over the next couple of days we will continue to broom in different directions with push brooms to continue working the sand around on the putting surface with the hopes of putting our first cut on greens during the first of next week.  I know this is a nuisance, especially with us opening back up for business on Friday, but it is important not to rush with mowing and harvesting the sand.  Allowing the plant to grow through the sand will go a long way on protecting our equipment and reaching the goal of improving our putting surfaces for the long term.


Once greens clean-up was complete, we began pulling cores on tees.  Tees have accumulated a lot of thatch over the years and this process will help eradicate the problem.  Similar to greens, the thatch build-up in tees in preventing water infiltration, nutrient uptake and firmness of the respected playing surface.  Do you ever feel like your walking on a sponge on some of the tees?  Well, this is largely in part to the thatch becoming puffy during the heat of the summer causing unevenness to the surface.  An aggressive program of thatch removal over the next couple of years will allow us to achieve lower height of cuts on tees/approaches to improve firmness and playability.

The following picture will better illustrate the issues that we are facing with thatch in our playing surfaces.  If you notice the red irrigation key to left of the core, the point of the key is indicating how much thatch build-up is occurring beneath the surface.  This 1/4 in to 1/2 in build-up is what is preventing root growth, nutrient uptake and water infiltration along with ultimately creating the puffiness during periods of high heat and humidity.  To the right of the plug, the two pens indicate layers that have formed from the practice of solid tinning, if you look closely, you'll see to brown lines going straight across with sand in-between and above.  This layer has been formed from pushing the thatch down into the sub surface followed by topdressing.   The process of removing cores will help elevate these layers and create a solid sand base to serve as a healthier growing environment.

We used 1/2 tines on 3 inch spacing on all the tees.  I have decided not to topdress these surfaces this time, mainly due to time, budget and equipment constraints.  Following a couple of mows, the holes will close and it will be as if we were not even there.

Today (Wednesday), we plan on finishing the topdress application on the back 9 green and placing a broom on all greens this afternoon.  We should complete 13-18 tees by lunch to allow us to start mowing rough and putting the first cut on fairways following the slice on Monday.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Highlights of Aerification Day One

It's been a chilly start to aerification today, but we are making great progress thus far on Monday.  Here are some pictures and explanations of all that we have going on:


The process on greens began with the practice of Deep-Tinning with a piece of equipment known as the Verti-Drain to create a hole 7 inches deep to oxidize the soil and create a channel to introduce sand deeper into the growing media for root stimulation.

The tines being used are 3/4 inch at 3 inch spacing.

The next step was to pull cores to remove thatch and organic material at a depth of 3-3 1/2 inches.

This is a time consuming process, as all cores are pushed to the collar for removal.

We are using 5/8 inch tines at a 2 inch spacing.


Outside of greens, we began the process of slicing (spiking) our fairways.  Slicing fairways is a great way to alleviate the negative impacts of compaction from cart and mower traffic.  Over time, compaction tightens up the soil and reduces the ability of the turf to produce long healthy roots.  This practice will allow water, nutrients and oxygen to get into the root zone more effectively.

The process creates a slit about 2 1/2 inches long to a depth of about 2 inches. 

I'm please with our pace thus far today, at nightfall.....I would expect for us to have all greens verti-drained and poked.  The clean-up process should be around 12 or 13.  The front nine should be complete on the fairway slicing as well.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) we plan on starting to Topdress greens right out of the gates and finish up cleaning cores on the greens.  Once greens are complete we will go right into pulling cores on Tees.

Stay tune for updates each day on our progress.  Thanks for your continued support and cooperation towards this paramount process towards the success of our plant health!