Monday, October 25, 2010

Deep tine aerification...what is that?

Deep time aerification is a process that we have been utilizing for a number of years at Morro Bay GC and more recently at Chalk Mountain and Dairy Creek. The process of deep tining the greens involves the use of solid tines that are able to penetrate 6-14 inches into the soil. Normal aerification will penetrate 4 inches max. The purpose is still the same to aleviate compaction and increase the pore space in your soils for air and oxygen, thus creating a more aerobic condition for turf roots to "thrive". During years of only going 4" deep you will develop a shelf that is 4" below the turf and this shelf inhibits the turf roots from making their way deeper than 4" because the created compaction over the years; the very thing we are trying to aleviate! So by instituting the practice of deep time aerating are able to penetrate the 4" shelf and drive air and other benficial elements deeper into our greens soil profile.

The process is much more clean than a typical core aerification in the fact that we are not removing any material from soil profile, but rather poking a hole deep into the soil. The result is much less disruption to the surface of the green and a quicker healing process. Have a look at the photos below that were taken this fall at Dairy Creek.

The 5th green at Dairy Creek as the skies are clearing.
The process started around 4 am in the rain.

Here is a closer look at the tines as they slide their way through the turf like a hot knife through butter! You can see all of the water being squeezed out of the soil by the front roller that preceeds these tines. The greens were quite wet at the beginning of the process, but the benefits of this practice were quickly noted as the greens were firm and dry even as the rain continued.

A closer look at the front roller as is pressed the water out of the green!

Ah...the end result minutes after completion. Absolutely no water and ready for the sand. Actually on this day the rain would not let up and we had to postpone the topdressing to the following week to accomodate our tournament schedule. We rolled the greens that afternoon and began mowing the following day. This process actually closed up many of the holes which prevented us from filling the holes with topdressing. Instead of a heavy topdressing we came back a week later and did a medium topdressing to help fill in any depressions that were left from partially healed holes. The putting surfaces healed quickly and the holes are actually still open which can be witnessed when we cut cups and the roots are finding their way through the holes to the bottom! For the most part mission accomplished.

No comments:

Post a Comment