It is that time of year when many golf courses are aerating.
What is aeration?
Aeration is a cultural practice which opens up the surface of the turf. Aerators come in various sizes and can either pull a core or plug (core areation) or punch a hole in the turf with a solid tine. The main purpose of aeration is to relieve compacted soils and allow for better air exchange. Other major benefits are to change an undesirable rootzone (soil) by removing the cores and filling the holes with a desirable sand or sand mixture. Removing and controlling thatch (excessive organic matter) is another huge benefit to turfgrass. Aeration with small tines is often used to overseed areas. Aeration techniques frequency will differ depending on the turf grass area, existing soil types, existing problems, etc. For example a sports field will require more aeration than a home lawn. Golf course putting greens will require different aeration techniques than fairways or tees.
At Victoria Park East we core aerate greens in late August and use solid tines in early July. We core aerate tees and fairways throughout the fall.
Most golf courses do not aerate enough according to research done by industry professionals. Aeration will always be a contentious issue on golf courses, especially on greens. I find communication is key.Most golfers understand it is a necessary evil and are quite understanding as long as sufficient notification is given and aeration coincides with the clubs calendar of events.
Thanks for your patience.