Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Spring Aerification

Well it's that time of year, time to poke holes in the greens again.
I thought I'd take a minute and explain the process and why we do it. I know everyone hates playing on aerified greens, myself included, so why not give an explanation to why.
There are several reasons why we do this; to increase the oxygen available to the plant, relieve compaction, remove excess thatch in the soil, create a firm playing surface for the upcoming season.
First off, by removing cores of old soil from the greens we remove a percentage of thatch, dead organic material in the soil structure. The dead organic material, plant roots, clog up macro pores in the soil structure no longer allowing them them to hold oxygen. Once these macro pores have the dead material in them they are referred to as micro pores, which will really only hold water and will not allow the soil to become firm. We are replacing the old soil with sand. The sand has no thatch and lots of macro pores. This creates new channels for roots to grow freely down through the soil where they can still receive proper amounts of oxygen. Another benefit to these deep channels of macro pores is increased drainage. These large pores don't really hold water that well, they give surface water a better route to escape to the subsurface drainage.
I hope this gives anyone who's interested a better idea of why we go through this process every six months or so. We are scheduled to start on March 15th weather permitting. hopefully we will be grown in about 3 weeks later with a little help from Mother Nature.