Spring came late and now it seems as if it’s summer already. We have a had a lot to accomplish in a short amount of time but we are making very good progress. April was colder and even dryer than average, and May has been about the opposite. In the past week we have had 2.5″ of rain, needless to say, the rough is loving it.
April 30th was aerification. We opted to go with a verticutting process we call Gradening. Traditional core aerification pulls a plug 3″ deep or more, to help remove organic matter, amongst other benefits. Our greens, being sand based, have very little organic matter that deep in them. We do have some in the top 1″ lingering around from the sodding done in 2012 and from natural build up. The Graden machine has vertical blades that cut small channels removing this organic layer, leaving good sand down below. This process removes thatch from the top 1″ benefitting the turf in many ways. Thatch is dead organic matter that builds up over time on the soil surface. Thatch can become too thick, causing areas to become spongy, soft, and overly wet on top, while preventing water from accessing the root zone. Thatch can also harbor pathogens which can incite numerous diseases to the plants.
As we Graden, we can bucket fresh topdressing sand into the machine. The sand then filters down through and directly into the vertical channel we cut. Introducing brand new fresh sand into that organic layer. Don’t get me wrong, core aerifcation over the past 5 years has removed the majority of this “sod” layer. We plan on repeating this process every spring to help keep the greens healthy and firm. Shout out to former superintendent Eric Skorich, who made sure we acquired this machine a couple years ago.
We hope everyone is enjoying the nice weather and the golf course. Looking forward to a great summer and providing our members with excellent playing conditions