Thursday, August 13, 2015

Aerification: Day Two Recap

Day two of aerification is in the books and momentum is staying on track although we experienced a few changes to the gameplan.  Oddly enough, after what seemed to be 40 days and 40 nights of rain, everyone is aware that we have settled into a significant dry period. 

As mentioned, one of the most important processes during the practice of aerification is replenishing the profile with sand to improve the soil structure for drainage, porosity and etc.  In addition to the agronomic benefits, filling the holes that were created while removing cores protects the plant from temporary environmental stresses.  No humidity, wind, and existing dry conditions are a perfect recipe for wilt and turf loss during the process of aerficiation due to the timing from start to finish.  Exposed holes will allow the playing surface to dry out at a alarming rate. 

These factors in addition to budgetary concerns, forced me to call an audible yesterday morning.  To reduce the timing of exposed holes during the 3 step process of poking, cleaning, and topdressing, we put all of our focus on tees and will be holding off on approaches this summer.  To simplify, the larger the area poked, the longer the time to clean.

Approaches will receive some attention with a heavier than normal light topdress (our in season rate) rate on Friday, but no holes will be poked.  Below is a recap on tees and other tasks from Day Two.

We followed pretty much the  same protocol with greens by using a 5/8 inch tine on a 2 inch spacing while pulling at 2.5 inch depth on tees.

The objective is to reduce the thatch layer to not only improve plant health but also improve the firmness of the respected playing surfaces.  With 5 different sets of tees, a variety of play is experienced on each surface, thus effecting the thatch content.  Looking at the picture above, we consistently have a bout a 1/2 inch of thatch (area above pen), which isn't that bad.  The key and our goal is the area below the pen, incorporating more sand (lighter color) and dark content (thatch, organic material, etc.) will improve drainage, porosity and most importantly "firmness".

The cleanup process follows by blowing, dragging and removing all the plugs.

Next, we applied topdressing sand to fill the holes.
In addition, to working on tees throughout the day.  We put our first broom on greens in two different directions to work the sand into the canopy and fill any lingering holes.
Once each green is completed, irrigation is used to cool down the surface following the abrasion of broom the sand across the plant and provides the additional benefit of working the sand into the profile.

The Divs cooling down while hanging out with Dad during the afternoon.
All in All, a successful day!  All tees and driving targets were poked and cleaned.  Just 1-7 remained for topdressing.  Today we shift gears and put focus on getting course back playable for the weekend with mowing rough and pushmowing.  We finished up topdressing tees this morning and during the afternoon we will drag the sand in on the tees and put our second double broom on the greens.  The assistants have been busy starting the amending process with tees this morning and greens will take place this afternoon following the broom crew.
Check in tomorrow for another update!

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