Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Home Lawn Care

It's definitely turning into Spring.  If you have tried to go to the local Home Depot or Lowe's on the weekend that's proof enough for me.

I decided to try and start putting a couple of home lawn tips on here at important times of the year.  Right now is an important time of year for your home lawn Bermuda or Fescue.

For those of you with a Bermuda yard.  The grass is trying to break dormancy right now.  The main factors that drive this are soil temperature and daylight hours.  with the soil temperatures getting up The weed seeds in the soil will want to germinate.  So its a good Idea to go ahead and get that pre-emergent herbicide out to control the weeds.  The best place to find these products is at your local Co-Op or lawn and garden stores.  Nothing against the big box stores but you can get better products at the specialty stores.

For those of you with Fescue, or cool season grasses at home.  Now is a crucial time of the year.  Now is the time to Aerify and Fertilize your yard.  Just like we aerify our greens around daylight savings time every year, your fescue will love you during the summer if you do this.  If you want justification for aerification please look at my last post.  Your fescue is going to be preforming at its peak here for the next 2 months.  Now is the time to fertilize while the stresses on the plant are low and the efficiency of the plant is high.  You will also need to apply a pre-emergent herbicide to your lawns too so that weeds are kept to a minimum.  If you have any bare spots in the yard that you want to cover now is also a great time to sod fescue.  A lot of people like to seed along with aerification, but I prefer to seed in the fall and sod in the spring.

I hope some of the information is useful to you.  I will try to post more information related to the home lawn as the season continues.

Good Growing!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Spring Aerification

We have just completed one of the toughest jobs of the year, Spring Aerification.  Normally its a job that most people don't see outside of course staff.  I decided to take a few videos to show some of the processes that we use.  This year I decided that we needed to aerify the greens twice.  We didn't really get a true aerification last fall.  Yes, we "poked holes", but we only used 1/4" tines and we did not add any sand as I didn't want to be too abrasive to the greens in their frail state last fall.  This spring we are using 5/8" tines on a 2 " spacing, and we are aerifying them in two directions.  The whole goal in this process is to create Macro pores.  Macro pores are porous spaces in the soil that allow for gas exchange, water movement and root growth.  As the season goes on the macro pores get compacted or occupied by roots or dead roots and they become micro pores.
The first two videos shows how early we get started during this process.  It is not uncommon to start the process at 4:00 AM.  We had to design a light kit for our equipment so that we can start early.


The next video is the process of aerifying the green in the daylight.  This video shows the back breaking labor that the staff goes through to remove the debris.

This video shows the process of applying the sand to the surface of the green.  This is a highly specific job.  Too little and the surface will not be smooth.  Too much and the grass may never see the light of day again.  


There are a few steps that I did not show Fertilizing, Dragging, Watering and Rolling.  3 of the 4 are really not worth seeing.  Unfortunately I was doing most of the dragging of the sand and it was hard to make a video of myself.

Hopefully this helps explain why we do this process every spring and fall and the hard work that goes into it.  I know that the playing conditions are not great for a couple of weeks after the process.  But just remember that Tom Watson shot his personal best low round on freshly aerified greens.