Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Spring Tee Aerification Underway

The 2010 spring core aerification of tees at NSCC is currently underway. All Blue Nine tees have been completed, as well as the Men's tees on the White Nine. The Red Nine tees will be completed, weather permitting, on Thursday 6/3. The remaining Ladie's tees on the White 9 will be completed on Friday 6/4.

All tees on the White and Red Nines will be completed as they have in the past. More specifically, the tees will be core aerified, collected, sand topdressed, swept, and fertilized. With continued warm weather, the tees should be nearly completely filled in by next week. This essential process allows us to maintain a consistent and quality teeing ground by reducing compaction and thatch, and increasing water and air infiltration. Upon the conclusion of the aerification process, the tees will be better suited to deal with warm and humid weather that will certainly appear throughout the summer months.

Since the Blue Nine tees have developed a more substantial thatch layer than their counterparts on the Red and White Nines, the NSCC golf course maintenance staff has taken a more agressive approach to counteract this problem. Not only are soft, spongy tees less desirable from a player's perspective, they may also lead to a number of agronomic problems such as mower scalping, increased susceptibility to fungal pathogens and drought stress.

Instead of simply following the normal aerification procedure of core removal/collection and topdressing, the NSCC included multiple vertical mowings to the procedure to help reduce the amount of thatch on the tees. In the case of the Blue Nine, the tees were verticut, then aerified. Instead of simply collecting the cores, the tees were again verticut an additional two times. The final two vertical mowings served two purposes. First the vertical mowing assisted in pulverizing the cores, freeing the sandy soil from the turf's thatch and roots. Additionally the vertical mowing created openings or channels for the sand to penetrate within the turf canopy to better dilute the thatch layer. Once the cores were pulverized, the organic debris was blown off of the teeing surfaces, sand was applied and swept in. In the short term, the tees may appear battered and bruised, however the benefits will be realized in firmer teeing surfaces and healthier turfgrass plants.

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