Aeration Monday

You may ask why punch holes and add sand just when the greens was becoming good. Well there’s a long and a short answer and anyone who knows me knows which one I’m going to give!. Try not to fall asleep on me 😴😂
We will be performing several tasks and each one has its benefits long term. The good news for you is that summer aeration mainly consists of smaller holes more often and less sand more often, together with good growing conditions means a speedy recovery and great surfaces fast.
The team will be verticutting, cutting, sarrel rolling then applying approximately 5 tonne of sand bringing our total this year to 65 tonnes. The following day an application of wetting agent, seaweed, humid acid and liquid aeration will be applied. Below is a description of what each process is and why we are performing each task.

Verticutting
The verticut units are like mini knives spinning vertically removing debris, standing up lateral growth, removing seed heads, leaving a seed bed to help fill our bare areas and allowing light and oxygen to our turf canopy. We have to time this when disease pressure is low as damaging the plant will leave access points for fusarium.


Sarrel or sorrel rolling
These are small spikes just a couple of inches long, or in our case worn to an inch!. The object of these spikes are to puncture the thatch layer allowing oxygen in to the surface and allowing the gas exchange with CO2 and other gases, in the case of our poor greens we are trying to exchange oxygen with hydrogen sulphide a byproduct from anaerobic black layer. Once these holes are filled with sand they also help with infiltration of water from the surface aiding drainage.

Topdressing
Topdressing golf greens along with aeration is a vital task. This helps drainage, dilutes thatch, encourages grass to side shoot, firms the greens up especially through wet weather, keeps the greens running true and smooth, and encourages Bent and Fescue grass that is more resistant to drought and disease. We aim for around 80-100 tonne per year which can be an hard target with the golf calendar. Most of this tonnage comes in the spring and autumn and only light dressings are applied in the main golf season but we perform this task on a regular basis. Currently we have already applied 60 tonne so we are on course to hit our target this year.


Seaweed, humic acid, liquid aeration and wetting agent
Last task but will occur the next day weather permitting, will be to spray with seaweed, humic acid, liquid aeration and wetting agent. Seaweed and humic acid relieves stress on the grass plant, feeds the microbial population so that symbiosis can occur. This ensures the microbes take natural sugars that grass releases and in return forms a barrier against nasty microbes and fungus that causes diseases. These healthy microbes also help break down thatch by feeding on the organic matter.
Liquid aeration is a product that has extra oxygen molecules releasing this into the soil and helping to bread healthy microbes and supply oxygen to the roots. It also helps eradicate black layer in our anaerobic soils.
Wetting agent simply breaks surface tension of water allowing our irrigation water and rain water to flow through the profile keeping all the soil with the correct moisture levels in drought conditions. This helps prevent dry patch and especially helps with our old inefficient irrigation system.

Now you know the whys of our aeration programme I hope you understand when you see us working on the greens. I promise you it’s for the benefit of your golf and the clubs revenue having good greens that keep members happy and visitors returning.


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