Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Verticut and Topdressing on Greens

The greens are loving the recent weather and have really taken off.  The rapid growth of the bentgrass this time of year also means that thatch can become an issue.  Thatch is just old roots and leaves that have died and have become a part of the soil.  Thatch can be a problem because it acts like a sponge and can trap excess moisture and nutrients.  This thatch layer has several downsides:  it can keep water and nutrients from moving down into the rootzone, keeps the surface soft, increases ballmarks, and decreases ball roll.
In order to keep the thatch from accumulating, we periodically vertical mow and lightly topdress the greens with sand.  The vertical mower is similar to power raking your yard and it allows us to remove some of the excess thatch without interfering with playing conditions.  The sand is dusted onto the green to dilute the thatch further and to smooth out the surface.

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