Spring Maintenance is Here

Well, spring has officially arrived today and hopefully the spring weather will arrive with it.

With the arrival of spring comes our semi-annual greens aerification, this project is scheduled for the week of April 10 through 14.

My plan is to use 1/4” solid tines this year as they will cause the least surface disruption of the tools in my arsenal.

Normally I would use 3/8coring tines in the spring but with the slow start we are experiencing this year, and the unpredictable weather we have been having, I have opted to go with solid tines.

If the greens are too wet it becomes difficult to completely pull the 3/8″ cores out, and it risks the cores being stuck sticking up out of the greens.

Needless to say this is not preferable for course conditions or the golfers!

After the aerification we will follow up with a light sand topdressing and off we go for the season.

During the summer we will occasionally “vent” the greens with a small solid tine, or our Planet Aire, which is more of a slicer.

We have many different options available to us to perform this task, in the fall I like to use a larger coring tine and backfill with sand.

This allows us to remove organic matter (thatch) that accumulates in growing turf and filling with sand keeps that channel open for good drainage going into winter.

The main reason we aerate greens is to introduce oxygen into the rootzone and release gasses built up in the soil.

Aeration also allows better drainage as the greens will seal up and not allow water to penetrate easily if we don’t perforate the surface regularly.

I know aeration is not popular with our guests but it is the single most important maintenance practice we accomplish each year.

With that being said, this spring our guests will hardly notice we have done anything to the greens thanks to the small solid tines.

Happy Spring!
Ed Faulk
Area Golf Course Superintendent