Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Cutting Edge

Last week we started the process of edging bunkers.

Each Spring we give all the bunkers a thorough edging and continue all season long by cleaning up the edges every other week. This season, we purchased a vital tool to help create that perfect edge everyone looks for.

The Red Max reciprocating edger has two scalloped blades that work in a scissor-like motion that is perfect for slicing through all surfaces, beit soil, clay or sand.

Below are some pictures of the edging process.

As of this past monday, all bunkers have been edged !

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spring Spike & Topdress

For the last few seasons, we have performed a procedure on our greens each Spring called "Deep-tining".

First, we equip our Soil Reliever with 10" solid tines. The Soil Reliever would then traverse each green in the manner of any other aeration unit. We would calibrate the soil reliever to punch a solid channels with 2"x2" spacing.

We choose to perform a solid-tine aeration in the Spring due to the unique characteristics of our greens profile. Our profile consisted of a significant layer of organic matter that resided above the layer of coarse sand. A layer of sand that percolates at over 50 inches per hour.

Our goal over the past few seasons has been to break up the OM layer and push it down further into the profile to help the profile better retain moisture, particularly below the 2-4" depth.
We have since been sucessful with pushing down the OM layer and we have lowered the perc rate at the 6-10" depth from 55" per hour to 41" per hour.

This Spring, however, we chose to forego the deep-tine process and simply spike all the greens. Spiking is still beneficial in the fact that it opens the turf canopy to allow for gas and air exchange. Following the spiker, we dimple-seeded each green with L-93 bentgrass seed. We do this every Spring and Fall to maintain a significant seed bank of bentgrass on the greens.

We finished the process with applying a moderate amount of topdressing sand, to fill thin areas and help smooth the putting surface. After the sand was dragged in, we rolled each green to again smooth the surface for immediate play.

In the days following, we fertilized the greens with Ammonium Sulfate (16-4-8) to stimulate growth and aggressively push the bentgrass.

Spiking is an integral part of our course conditioning and we will continue to spike monthly throughout the season.