Thursday, May 30, 2024

Fairway Aeration & Greens Spiking

We wanted to remind the membership of our upcoming Fairway Aeration and Topdressing that is rapidly approaching in July. More on the actual process as we get closer, but the main thing for you to remember is the golf course will be closed for an entire week. 

Golf Course Fairway Aeration 
Monday July 8th through Friday July 12th
Golf Course Closed

This past Monday we verticle mowed, spiked and topdressed all putting surfaces on the course sticking to our plan to do small non invasive cultural practices to the greens for as long as possible to keep disruption for the membership and keep poa annua invasion on our greens to a minimum. Below are pictures of the process for those who haven't see them before.

Step #1 - Vertical Mow the surfaces. Circular saw like blades positioned vertically on a shaft slightly penetrate the surface and remove grain and thin the leaf volume of the green. Less leaf volume equals less friction. Less friction equals better ball roll & speed. Theoretically. 

Good image of the verticle mower blades close up.

Another good image of the surface directly after the verticle mower went over the green.

Step #2 - Cleanup - All of that  removed leaf surface leaves a mess that we clean up with a mower and blowers. Mowing after verticle mowing also clips the lifted leaf blades of the verticle mowing process.

Step #3 - Deep Tine Spiking. We like to follow the verticle mowing process with spiking. The tines above are 5/16" in diameter and we spike to a depth of 7". Holes in the surface provide avenues for water and equally or more importantly, air to penetrate deep into the putting surfaces core. Air equals deeper roots. Deeper roots equals an healthier overall putting surface that can hold up to less frequent irrigation. Less frequent irrigation equals better ball roll and speed. Theoretically.

Good image of the spiking pattern. 5" X 3" pattern with holes that are 7" deep. 

Step #4 - Sand topdressing. Sand topdressing on putting surfaces is considered a BMP by all turf managers and academics throughout the industry. The amounts and type of sand topdressing vary but in general turf managers like to use sand that is not too course or too fine. We like to lightly and frequently topdress greens at an amount of 1.0 to 1.5 cubic foot of sand topdressing per application targeting a total of 25 to 35 cubic feet of topdressing sand per 1000 square feet per year. Above illustrates a application of 1.6 cubic foot per 1000 square feet.
 Light and Frequent Topdressing dilutes the organic matter that putting surfaces make that if allowed to become excessive can lead to some real problems that is easiest remedied by core aeration which we are trying to avoid at least for a few years. 

Step #5 - Brushing in the topdressing. This image is from earlier this season when we Dry-Jected the Putting Surfaces and applied more sand then what is depicted in step #4. It is the same process where we slowly brush the greens with soft brushes attached to a Greens Groomer Brush. Brushing works the sand topdressing into the small  spiking holes, the grooves that the verticle mower left and the turf canopy and is a primary contributor to the smoothness and firmness of a putting surface. 

Step #6 - Two days out  finished product. Day one after the above chronicled process we rolled and blew off remnants of sand with back pack blowers. Day two (today 5/30/24) we mowed and rolled and blew the greens again and above is the product you are putting on today. 

Above is a closeup. A little bit of visible sand and you can see the verticle mowing lines slightly. 

Above picture was taken Tuesday 5/28/24 down one Cygnet since Friday 5/24/24. On Wednesday 5/29/24 in the morning we were down to 5 Cygnets. Michele McCormick Granite Bay's own bird expert says a 50% survival rate is pretty typical. Lets keep our fingers crossed. 

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