Aeration time is approaching and we are ready to harvest the peanuts. It may be translated incorrectly, but our Spanish staff calls the cores that are pulled from the greens cacajuates which means peanuts; or so I'm told. It may mean turds too?
Last week we aerated two practice greens and things went great. We did two more practice greens this week and got everything dialed in for another successful aeration on the 6th of August. You may think how much dialing in is necessary being that this gets done twice a year, but you'd be surprised.
This year I paid extra attention to soil moisture content before we aerated with the use of our new soil moisture meter. It is the trickiest variable in my opinion that we control. We have been monitoring soil moisture following an irrigation cycle and comparing the water loss to evapotranspiration rates for the day. Come the 6th of August, I should be within 5% of my target soil moisture content.
For the process itself, we are using the ten tine block for the Toro 648, but we are only placing 5 tines on each block. The 5 tines consist of 3 - 1/2" tines and 2 - 3/8" tines. This allows us to pull slightly more material than the standard configuration of 5 - 3/8" tines. We pull these cores on 1.5" spacing.
After aeration, we will put down our soil amendments, then the sand down, and then use a 3/8" deep tine on top of the sand. We previously did this prior to pulling the core, but doing this after the sand allieviates the tire rutting that the sand topdresser leaves behind. Thank you to Thomas Bastis (@calsuper) of Cal Club for that tip. We conclude the process by brushing the greens once and then blow the rest of the sand into the remaining holes.
From the pictures below, the greens are coming along extremely well. They are actually on pace for a healing record.
|Day after aeration|
|7 Days after aeration|