Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Prepping Greens for a Better Tomorrow.

Bull's Eye putting surfaces were "deep tined" for the first time since 2005 choosing to use Champion Greens from Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin.  This is my first experience working with them and from this experience I would use them again.  Seven total hours to "tine" twenty greens.  (ED Note:  Tri City greens were not deep tined this year and will serve as our check.)  I've always considered deep tining to be a drainage event more so than an aerification event, but this time around I'm asking for deeper and better rooting of the plants on our greens as the primary benefit.  Rooting should continue well into the winter until the point in time the soil freezes up.

Greens were "tined" to a depth of 8 inches to facilitate air and water movement into and through the soil profile.  I've noted a slight layer build up I believe came as a result of winter killed turf that occurred both winters of 2004 and 2005.

Taking advantage of open "tine" holes and the need for additional sand incorporation, greens were spiked with one half inch solid tines using our greens aerifier.  Our second aerification of the year was all but cancelled due to the massive interseeding of greens undertaken the first weeks of August.

I wasn't sure we could pull this aerification off as I had a complement of six men counting myself on hand to both clean up a messy golf course after a weekends worth of leaf drop and the requirement to fill jobs like topdressing, dragging and rolling.  All operations that go with any aerification event.

I volunteered to "man" the aerifier as a change of pace as I've become tired of the multiple trips to and from the sand silo from past seasons to topdress greens. Stupid me!  Eight straight hours of walking backwards and my cramping feet reminded me that I was no longer 24!  I did manage to complete 16 of twenty greens, not a bad days work.  I estimated I walked "backwards" over 16 miles!  My legs and feet felt like mush!

Note on putting green conditions.  We were unable to roll greens due to mechanical breakdown.  Greens will be rolled as soon as the unit is repaired and back in service.  Secondly, greens finished Tuesday morning could not be "dragged" to incorporate sand as light shower passed making the sand wet. (Wet sand "bridges" and will not fall to the bottom of the hole when trying to fill it.)  Lastly, as top growth for most part ceased, the majority of the topdressing present on the surface will be left there to serve as a winter protective blanket.