Old Palm News

Turf Talk by Lee Bladen

July 28, 2014

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Turf Talk with Lee Bladen Old Palm Superintendent Well we certainly know it is the rainy season here in Florida, with rain  18 out of the last 24 days, totaling over 11.5 inches. While it is taking us a little longer than normal to complete our work, we continue to plod along in between the rain drops. Normally in years past we have scheduled 2 greens aerifications, believing they were sufficient to provide adequate relief from compaction and organic material development in the soil. This year we scheduled a third aerification on the putting greens because the Tifeagle Bermudagrass creates a denser compacted surface than our previous turf, the Paspalum. This tight soil condition doesn't allow for any downward water movement, or the proliferation of root growth. Remember roots grow in the airspaces between the soil particles. So the tighter the soil the fewer roots of the plant. Because leaf blade growth is directly proportionate to root growth, this third aerification is very necessary. Our third aerification began right after July 4th weekend. The greens were aerified using a coring tine that makes a ½ inch hole and pulls a plug. We removed all material that was created from the process and then topdressed with sand. The greens have responded very well and the holes have closed quickly. We try to keep all equipment that could leave tire tracks off the greens. Tires on the greens can create an uneven or bumpy putting surface. Following that thought everything during the aerification and topdressing was done by hand. We used walking aerifiers, fertilizers spreaders to apply the sand, and walking brushes to move the sand into the holes. While the course was closed, we also aerified all the fairways with solid tines which do not pull a plug. This is the 2nd time we did the fairways this summer. No topdressing was applied so the holes were allowed to just close. The rain, on several occasions, caused washouts in the sand bunkers, waste bunkers and tee walkups. Crews are diligently restoring these areas each time in an effort to provide good playing conditions. All in all we are progressing nicely with our efforts to get ready for the coming season. We are working everyday to provide great playing conditions and a little rain isn't going to stop us.


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