During the month of May, we will be doing a lot out on the course. We will be mowing, blowing, & doing our best to give our members the best conditions possible. A lot of cultural practices pick up during May. Some of those practices include vertical mowing (verti-cutting), topdressing lightly, & aerating greens.
These are common practices to help improve the ball roll & plant health on greens. The verti-cutting mower uses blades that are vertical to cut into the surface of the greens to remove thatch & grain from the surface. This process can be done in multiple directions or down & back on the same pass. We like to alternate the directions to improve the consistency of greens speed. After verti-cutting a lot of times, we will lightly topdress to fill in the lines that were opened. This helps smooth out the surface & allows clean sand to help with built up thatch.
The big item in May (the 17-18th) that everyone LOVES so much including myself is Aerating greens. This can be done several ways & with lots of different tines & hole sizes. During this month our process will be to deep tine with ½” holes going down 9-10” with solid tines. This will not remove a core but will allow deep channels for water, air, and roots to travel. At the same time as this is being done our staff will punch behind that machine with a smaller coring tine to remove unwanted material. The next step is sanding, dragging to fill the holes, then fertilizing. This is a different process than has been done in the past. With this aeration schedule, we are very hopeful to have the greens heal in & grow together faster with a major benefit from the deep tine.
No one likes aerating greens, including the maintenance staff because this calls for a lot of extra work during this time but this is one of, if not the most important cultural practices performed on greens. Please be patient during this time & we will be back to smooth fast greens in no time. Remember to repair your ball marks…even on aerated greens. A ball mark causes more damage than the small, punched holes & takes longer to heal over.