You may have noticed that we started working on fairway aerification in October. I want to use this months blog to explain what we are doing and the benefits we hope to see.
Core aerification on fairways makes quite a mess of the playing surface until everything gets cleaned up. We have core aerified all of the holes where cart traffic is not allowed onto the fairways. By pulling the core up and then breaking the soil off of the thatch and leaving the soil on the surface, we effectively accomplish a soil topdressing of the turf. This soil will melt into the thatch and help to firm up the playing surface. The removal of the thatch and soil from below the surface will help improve air movements, water penetration, and reduce compaction. We decided to do this process on the cart path only holes because cart traffic can actually help break down thatch. Since traffic is not allowed on these fairways, this process was more important.
We are now working on doing a solid tine aerification on the fairways where golf cart traffic is allowed. This will allow us to get the benefits of improved water penetration and reduced compaction. As we have started this process, we have found many hard areas in the fairway where the turf pulls up due to shallow rooting caused by the compaction. Hopefully the turf will have a better root system with reduced compaction. As I write this blog today, we have completed three fairways on the course. We will continue to work on this as time and weather allow until the soil freezes this winter.