Autumn Aeration

We have recently completed our autumn renovation work on the greens and things have settled down nicely, with the greens playing well again.  Three weeks prior to this work we got a bit of a head start and managed a double pass with the verticutters to remove fibre and rubbish from the sward. Then during aeration week we solid tined 12 greens to a depth of 3 inches and vertidrained the remainder to a depth of 9 inches. They were all topdressed by hand and brushed in. We used around 25 tonnes in total. The extra depth and heave of the vertidrain causes more disruption, but even these greens have recovered quickly. We have a rota system to alter the depth we aerate and this will be supplemented by our greens slitter shortly, to link the holes together below the surface and also to alter the depth we go to. Our slitter can reach a depth of 6 inches, so will mix things up perfectly. Generally if we have a green that is holding more moisture than others then we go to the extra depth of the vertidrain. If needed we have a hand tool which will release compressed air and go down to 15 inches, but this is for winter time only as it marks the green up a bit more.

As autumn closes in, our next fight is against disease on the greens. The mornings and evenings become colder and damper, and with the heat still in the ground, it becomes a perfect battlefield for fungal explosion. Spores are always prevalent and when conditions change for the worse, disease will break out. Our compost tea brewer has been on full steam ahead, to do battle with disease, and we have sprayed each of the last 2 weeks. Nature of course, works differently to chemical and is generally slower, but much much cleaner. As temperatures drop even further the soil biology slows down more. Finally the frosts arrive and help us with the fight against disease.

I would like to end though, with a big thank you to my team. During the aeration period which fell on bank holiday weekend, only giving us 4 days to work in. We cut temp greens and placed holes, aerated 19 greens, handballed 25 tonnes of dressing, brushed it all in, re cut holes on the greens and putting green, cut the tees, fairways and even managed 50% of the rough before swapping the flags over , raking the bunkers and having the course ready for the weekend. A huge effort for the manpower we have. Thanks lads.