Friday, May 3, 2013


The aerification process for both Morro Bay and Dairy Creek are complete for the spring.  This process is a necessary evil and always seems to occur just as the greens reach their best spring condition.  Our greens would struggle to remain in this good condition throughout the summer if this process were not performed in some manner.  Our reclaimed water takes its toll on our greens throughout the year even though we do our best to keep salt levels low using synthetic acids and monthly gypsum treatments.  Without a clean water flush we essentially flush the salts with salty water and hope our USGA greens perform as designed and pull the remaining water through the profile along with a majority of the salts.

Last year we used a smaller hollow tine called a quadra-tine which pulls out a lot of material, but is easy to clean up and is virtually unnoticed by golfers because we do not follow this with sand.  I am always concerned about using quadra-tines too frequently because although it removes thatch there is no sand filling the void and the turf will eventually coallecse over time and the thatch level may not be any better ultimately.  At least the gas exchange still occurs and the turf is opened up to help reduce salt levels with increased water infiltration rates.

The process is quite long with the aerifier starting around 3:00am and ending near 6:00pm.  Staff is beat by the time the whole process is complete.  So, trust me this is not something maintenance staffs relish doing once, twice, or more times per year.  With the lack of golfers during this day and a few days following we are able to also apply post emergent herbicides to clean up the fairways and roughs.  Here are a few pictures from the day at Morro Bay and I will have more pictures tomorrow showing exactly what we are fighting below the turf with our aerification process.

#12 sanded and waiting for the sand to dry out before initial brooming

#11 after the initial brooming

Albert adding calcium and manganese soil amendments to the green after the final brooming with our cocoa mat

 A picture fo the cart and cocoa mat Albert is pulling behind to drag sand into the holes.  After everything is complete the greens are watered heavily before leaving for the day and again that evening to help compact the sand and alleviate any stress caused during the aerification process.

#2 green the day after aerification.  Very nice results indeed!

Close up of #2 with the holes completely filled and a layer of sand that will be broomed once more later in the afternoon.  After growing for a few days the greens will be cut and eventually worked back down to the correct cutting height.

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