The Heat is On!

During the week of July 11th Old Chatham staff aerated all Fairways, Approaches, and Tees. Additionally, nearly 800 tons of sand was used to topdress all the areas that underwent aeration.  While it is an exhaustive process, it is most beneficial for turfgrass health and playability.  Recovery should take place over the next two weeks.  

Aeration is a process to remove ‘plugs’ from the soil which contain a mixture of organic material (thatch) and soil.  The removal of these ‘plugs’ leaves voids in the soil which provide an excellent conduit for air and water.  Turgrass plants growing with adequate air and moisture are able to flourish and withstand stressors like wear, temperature, low mowing, and drought more successfully.  Aeration is perhaps the most mechanically beneficial process that can be done to a turgrass ecosystem which is under daily wear stress from utilization and maintenance.  

Topdressing is also a beneficial mechanical process on turf.  Topdressing serves two main purposes:  (1) Topdressing levels the playing area and provides for smoothness of lie and ball roll and  (2) Topdressing provides a ‘soil’ media above the turgrass plant.  This is significant because beneficial microbes live in soil.  These microbes devour and decompose thatch that accumulates as a natural byproduct of growth.  Since the microbes only live in soil, adding a soil level above the turgrass plant provides a media for the thatch to decompose from two directions – above (in the topdressing) and below (in the soil).  Therefore, topdressing increases the speed at which thatch decomposes and provides a firmer playing surface as a result.