Thursday, June 25, 2015

Summer Tee Aeration

This week, the grounds staff performed our annual core aeration on tee boxes.  Each summer, when the tees are aggressively growing, they are core aerated to keep them as healthy as possible for the rest of the season.

As has been stated before, core aeration improves oxygen content, drainage capabilities, and rooting.  As you can see from the picture below, pulling the cores out of the ground makes a mess.  Once the cores are pulled out of the ground, they are left to dry and then drug with a steel mat.  This mat breaks apart the plugs and reincorporates the soil into the holes.  The thatch and grass is left at the surface which is then blown off.  The finished product is clean and ready for a mower.

finished product

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Summer Greens Maintenance Program

Since the first of June, a much drier,
warmer, weather pattern has emerged.  This drastic change in the weather has caused the grounds department to begin our summer greens management program.  A key piece to our program is solid tine aerating greens every three weeks.  The process creates tiny slits in the surface and, as you can see from the picture on the right, almost no disruption to the surface.  The channels created loosen the soil, improve drainage, and increase oxygen content in the soil.  All of which, will promote better rooting and a healthier plant throughout the summer.

Another major component to our greens management program is light, frequent topdressing.  The type of bentgrass we have on our greens produce a lot of thatch during the warm summer months and frequent applications of sand keep the greens from getting too soft and puffy.  The greens will also get a little soft from frequent hand watering, and topdressing is a great way to retain surface firmness during the summer months.

 Speaking of hand watering, the staff went out last week for the first time this season to check greens.  From now, until mid-September, there will be staff out every day making sure the greens have consistent moisture and are cooled off.  Keeping the soil moisture slightly dry, and as consistent as possible, promotes firm putting surfaces.

While the three techniques described above aren't the only things we do during the summer to maintain healthy bentgrass, they are some of the most important.  The grounds staff appreciates your patience and understanding this summer as we work to provide the best playing conditions possible.  Thank you.