Aerification needed at Emerald Hill Golf Course (Oct 3)

October 3, 2015 – Aerification is one of the most disliked processes that takes place on a golf course. Everyone asks, “Why are you tearing up our great looking greens?”

The short answer is that healthy root systems are an integral part of a successful golf course management program, and aerification promotes healthy root systems by creating air space in the soil. Aerification should be a part of every turfgrass maintenance program because it is absolutely necessary for maintaining healthy and durable turf. Failure to perform this simple maintenance can result in poorly drained soil, thin turfgrass stands, and continued problems with disease.

The grounds staff at Emerald Hill Golf Course performs several types of aerification throughout the year. In the summer months, the greens are “vented” using a solid 6.5-inch bayonet tine, which creates a 6-inch slice in the turf. This venting is done approximately every 3 weeks. This process, which has minimal effect on the playability of the greens, allows oxygen to enter the soil and promotes proper gas exchange.

Without venting during the hot months, the turf would have very shallow roots, which would lead to an unhealthy putting surface and disease susceptibility. During fall aeration, either .75-inch cores of soil and turf are removed from each green or .75-inch holes are pushed into the turf using a solid round tine. In both methods, aeration is followed by filling the holes with sand, which encourages better root growth. Fall aeration will begin at Emerald Hill the week of Oct. 12; cores will be removed on the tees and solid round tines will be used on the greens and fairways.

Keep in mind, turf aeration is not just for golf courses. All turf, including the turf in your own yard, can benefit from this practice. Like a golf course, aerating your yard can allow air, water, and other nutrients to penetrate the grass roots to allow them to grow deeper and produce a healthier lawn. In addition, most home yards have excess thatch, which further starves the roots. Aerating helps break up that thatch. Lawn aeration should take place during the early spring or fall.

If you have any doubts about the benefits of aeration, stop by Emerald Hill Golf Course and see the results a quality turf maintenance program for yourself.

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