Aerification, Fall Update

Last year, September’s Turf Talk post was titled “Soggy September”. I don’t think this year could have been further from that.  Needless to say, the weather has been unusually dry for while now at the course.  We have received a total of  .53″ for the month.  The average rainfall during September in Columbus is around 2.5″.  It’s been somewhat of a challenge with the higher temps but everything is looking and playing great.

Greens Aerification was done on September 3rd and 4th.   As we all know,  this process is not very popular, but it’s necessary to keep the plants healthy.  There are many benefits acquired from this cultural practice.  Aeration is performed to remove organic matter which consist of decaying shoots and roots.  If we allow the organic layer to build up it becomes a major problem.   It can inhibit root growth,  prevent oxygen from entering the root zone,  prevent water drainage, and promote turf disease.  The thatch (decaying organic matter) can act as a sponge by holding water  near the surface making greens soft and very susceptible to disease.

There are many types of aerifcation practices which we do throughout the year.  In spring we performed a vertical cutting process to remove thatch and introduce fresh sand into the green.  This September we did a traditional core aeration which involves removing plugs.  The tines are hollow and 5/8″ in diameter.  The healing process takes about 14 days on average, depending on weather conditions.

Ballmarks have been a major issue this season.  To help alleviate the problem we have switched to a new wetting agent.  This surfactant increases the spreading and penetrating properties of water allowing it to move through the top inch of the green.  This product helps keep the top of the putting surface firm and dryer while getting the water where it needs to be, at the roots!  So far I believe it is helping and as we continue with more applications we should see even better results.

Fall is here!  Everyone enjoy the golf course,  fairway aerification is October 21st and 22nd.

GO BUCKS!

Dave Norris, Superintendent