Superintendent Update - Preventative Maintenance To Reduce And Limit Compaction
It’s certainly nice to see everyone out and about having fun on the golf courses. With that being said we will be doing some unobtrusive maintenance practices to keep the golf courses in healthy shape.
With the extra golf carts that are driven on both golf courses, daily soil compaction is something we need to keep and eye and monitor regularly. Some of the symptoms of soil compaction are poor soil drainage, thin grass areas, and very hard soil. All of these symptoms create for poor grass growing conditions. Many of the areas we need to address are areas where golf carts enter and exit the cart paths. But it is very clear that the excess cart traffic is affecting the entire golf courses in a negative way. The compaction issues we are seeing are creating conditions that are making the golf course drain less efficiently.
One of the methods we will be using will be mechanically slicing the soil. A soil slicer opens up the hard soil and allows for air and water to enter freely thus allowing for grass roots to stretch their legs. This practice in the past had only been done in the spring and summer but we will now implement this practice in the winter to keep the winter rye grass as healthy as possible.
Similar Slice Style Aeration
Another practice that we will implement is with a little chemistry. We have begun applying calcium based fertilizers to the golf courses to assist with reducing sodium build up which increases compaction. Sodium builds up in the soil over time due to lack of rain. It is commonplace in the desert southwest.
Rain is always a compaction reducer because it helps acidify the soil which reduces sodium buildup and flushes the existing sodium past the root zone thus allowing for improved water penetration and better nutrient uptake. Unfortunately in Arizona we do not get enough rain for optimum soil conditions thus creating the perfect recipe for compaction, wet conditions, and flash flooding.
We will continue to do our part to keep the golf courses in as good a shape as possible. With that being said we wish everyone a safe and Happy Holiday Season.
Compaction and Aeration Videos/Article