We developed this blog to provide golf course maintenance information to our members. From projects, small and large, to updates on course conditions, we want to provide as much information as possible. Although we hope this blog answers all of the pertinent questions regarding our operation, we always welcome more personalized dialogue. If you have questions beyond the information found on this blog, feel free to contact our golf course superintendent, Trevor Hedgepeth.



Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Grooming Turf

Grooming turf is an especially important maintenance practice. Over time, bent grass leaves will tend to "lay over" and grow in a more horizontal habit. In this prostrate position, it is easier for the mower to pass over the leaf tissue without actually cutting the length of the turf. As this trend continues, the plant is forced to supply more energy to these "leggy" leaves and thus these leaves get longer, fatter and lay over even more. Over time, plant density and ball roll are adversely affected. Grooming is the process wherein mechanical blades spinning downward pick-up the laid over leaves so that the bed knife can clip the plant closer to the crown. The crown of the plant is the control center and from the crown comes the distribution of energy. If the leaves are cropped tighter there is less leaf tissue demanding energy and the crown of the plant can re-allocate its resources to new nodes and tillers. This process creates a denser, tighter turf that is healthier and more suitable for consistent ball roll.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What is dry-ject?

Over time, bent grass putting surfaces develop an organic layer. Before we go any further, lets define an organic layer versus a thatch layer. Although a thatch layer can become quite deep, say 1.5-2", thatch on a well managed surface is much more shallow. Thatch is indigestible plant parts composed of lignin. Thatch is different from an organic layer because it is not decomposed easily by microbes in the soil. Frequent topdressing, core aerifying and verti-cutting are great tools to reduce thatch. An organic layer is generally deeper than thatch and it is composed of digestible plant parts, minerals and humus. Although there are many benefits to a good organic layer (mineralization, crown protection, etc.) it can become a barrier to gas exchange, oxygen diffusion and it can become easily saturated leading to anaerobic soil conditions. Topdressing greens is a great way to mitigate an over-accumulation of organic material, but topdressing is mostly confined to the upper surface of the root-zone. In fact, sporadic topdressing can lead to a layering effect that sometimes resembles tiramisu.

Introduce dry-ject. Dry-ject is a process where sand can be injected into the root zone on 2"x3" centers. The dry-ject operator can target a specific depth depending on the organic layer in question, Dry-ject deposits a small pocket of sand at each entry point. This pocket of sand allows the grass a fresh, aerobic opening to drive roots and this pocket also allows for great water infiltration. The good news is that all of the benefits of the organic layer are left in tact while the physical properties of sand are introduced to an otherwise stagnant medium. In fact, the organic material is pushed further into the profile. Over time, that organic is more easily diluted and the minerals remain in the root-zone.  Dry-ject allows the superintendent to enjoy the best of both worlds.