Monday, September 13, 2010

Aerification 2010

It's that time of year again.  Time to open up the soil and rejuvenate the plants we've abused all summer long.  This year was good to us and we encountered very little disease or stress on the greens.  While the rest of the country suffered through brutal weather conditions, we enjoyed the coolest August in 20 years.  I would prefer a little more heat to help with growing the bermuda fairways, but a summer like this one has to be appreciated, it sure has been nice.

The fall aerification is essential to next year's conditions.  As summer winds down, the salt in our irrigation water continues to accumulate in the soil.  It's been months since we had some decent rain and flushing the greens with dirty water does not provide a long term solution.  The surface begins to seal, compaction increases, and localized dry spots pop up along with a little fairy ring.  The greens do not drain as well as they had been, so it's time to open them up.

This year, green aerfication will take place on Tuesday, September 21st.  The course will re-open to play on Wednesday and the greens will be healed up in about a week's time. 

Sorry for the lack of updates lately, we've all been on the course tearing things up to improve conditions.  Fairway aerification is in full swing and 60% completed.  We are waiting for a repair part and will finish within the next couple of weeks doing our best not to interfere with play.  I'll post some pics and explain this year's process and future plans for fairway improvements. 

After all this aerification is finished up, we will move on to the task of overseeding tees, approaches, collars, and green surrounds.  We only use 25% of the seed we used in 2008 when we seeded all the fairways.  The savings in seed cost and fertilizer combined with 7 additional outside tournaments will have a very positive swing on the bottom line.  We'll also be able to keep the course in top condition since we're not growing in a new crop of seed.  Expect a very enjoyable fall season as we say goodbye to an extremely comfortable summer.