Friday, May 7, 2010

2010 Aeration Progress

Not only did the weather delay our spring aeration process, the colder then normal temperatures associated with the rain hampered recovery especially with the fairways. Greens and tees recovered relatively quickly despite the unseasonable weather. Fairways were / are another story.
We core aerated the fairways as planned during the last couple of weeks. The coring process that I more or less outlined above is more aggressive then we have employed the past couple of years on fairways. In 2008 and 2009 we solid tined the fairways which involved just poking a hole a couple of inches deep then vertical mowing to remove some thatch over the top. This process was much less aggressive and recovery was almost immediate.

The aggressive coring process we used this year removes substantially more organic material along with creating a longer lasting hole facilitating expanded movement of air and water. This organic material or thatch, in excess is our enemy and the main culprit of our soft conditions in the summer months. The down side to any aggressive cultural practice on turf is recovery time. But as I have mentioned in previous course updates Granite Bay is a “thatchy” golf course. The situation did not develop overnight and it will not go away on its own. It has to be managed in an ongoing fashion.

So the yellowing in the fairways we have been experiencing over the last couple of weeks was primarily due to the aggressive aeration procedure. This was compounded by unseasonable weather, which caused a slower then normal recovery. The good news is that we are currently getting some good weather and have applied an application of fertilizer last Monday and we can already see the color return to the surfaces.
We still plan to core aerate the rough but will start with the putting surface surrounds.
This summer we plan to solid tine the fairways starting in Late June. We hope to do this procedure every month until we core them again in the fall. We hope this will go along way to keeping the fairways firmer up the middle then in past seasons.

Aerifying fairways
Verticle mowing fairways
Sweeping up the mess

Removed thatch from fairways

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