With the great weather pattern we have been experiencing in the mid-Atlantic, our staff has been positively affecting the playing surfaces through various cultural practices.
After the participants headed out for the shotgun of the Philadelphia PGA’s Connelly Cup, we aggressively groomed the teeing surface of the Latitude 36 Bermuda practice tee. Above is Ben Gotwalt, First Assistant Superintendent, with the Graden. For more information on the Graden, please click here for http://www.gradenusa.com/.
The material seen above is the organic amt layer associated with Bermuda grass. It is imperative to groom this warm season grass often as its aggressive growth habit will lead to soft ground conditions.
After the event, we got a jump start to our maintenance plan for the week utilizing the Planet Air aerifier on the greens. Above is intern AJ Josefoski on #13 green.
The Planet Air helps with gas exchange and is another form of aerification with minimal disturbance to the putting surface. More information on this machine can be found by clicking HERE.
This morning, Second Assistant Charlie Lonergan vertically mowed the greens (or verti-cut) using a triplex to remove the underlying organic material, seen in the picture below.
The triplex removed three cart loads of organic material composing of grass, thatch and minimal amount of sand. This was our fourth verti-cut of the season and each time the amount we remove has reduced, indicating positive results for our putting surfaces.
The above picture displays the slicing that is made by the triplex verti-cut mower. Since it is a ride-on unit, there are some areas of the greens that can be mowed, mainly the perimeter passes along the green’s edge. We verti-cut these areas by hand, depicted in the picture below by Hector Bonilla.
After each vertical mowing of the greens, we follow with a light topdressing of sand.
The sand is incorporated into the putting surface using a mat consisting of cocoa fibers.
After the sand is brushed into the playing surface, we applied potash and gypsum according to our soil reports on all the greens. Below on the 10th green is Intern, Dave Ward, on the left and Assistant Superintendent Trainee, Nick Keeley.
Vertical mowing is different from our conventional mowing practices due to the machinery involved in the operation. Below is a picture of a conventional cylindrical reel mower we use on our greens.
The picture below is the same machine, however, the reel has been replaced with vertical blades. By verti-cutting, we remove material, that if left undisturbed, would lend itself to slow, soft greens. In a few days, the greens will heal on their own and perform well during the next round of hot weather slated to hit our region by the end of the work week.