Recently we have began our winter aerification process, which entails punching 3/4” solid tines set to a depth of 8” on fairways and 1/2” solid tines with a 6” depth on tees and approaches. Fairways will be punched twice in opposite directions, while our more challenging fairways such as #13 will be punched three times.
The deep solid tine aeration process allows us to open up deep channels in the soil and breaks up compaction. This process releases gases trapped in the ground and permits new available oxygen to the plants root zone. By leaving open holes and improving available oxygen to the plants root zone, microbial activity in the soil is increased. These microbes in the soil break down nutrients such as Nitrogen and make them available to the turf plant.
These new deep channels will also persist into the spring, creating a better environment for the grass plant to root in the upcoming growing season. Deeper roots allows us to push the turf grass harder in the summer by using less water; as a result increasing both firmness and ball roll.
In addition to creating gas exchange, these new fractures in the soil improve water movement allowing the turf to drain quicker, both reducing the opportunity for disease causing pathogens and improving playability by allowing the turf to dry.
Once aerated, our process finishes once we roll fairways in one direction, and mow them back in another direction. The end result are deep channels with very little disturbance to playability.
|Rolled and mowed fairway|