Saturday, May 15, 2010

Meeting In The Middle

Part of the challenge in bringing newly installed sod down in height of cut to match other play areas is not doing it too quickly but doing smartly.  Often times when purchasing sod from an outside vender the sod comes in at a different height of cut for where it is being utilized on the course.

For Bentgrass sod  used on greens this is especially true when the sod farm maintains it at nearly 1/3 to double the normal height of cut that most guys maintain their greens at. The reduction in height can be still done smartly and quickly if you attack the height of cut difference from both sides.  By this I mean rather than only lowering the height of the mowers and focusing on the amount of green material coming off you need to be thinking about raising the turf canopy.

This  is accomplished with frequent heavy topdressing of the new sod to help fill in any imperfections and unevenness in the sod in addition to helping reduce scalping.  The applications of sand  are generally around 1/4" deep at a time so the material can be worked in without completely burring the green. The frequency of topdressing applied is based on the growth and recovery of the turf from the previous time material was applied.  These applications of sand essentially enable me to lower the height from two directions without stressing the plant too much.

Other cultural practices that help with the establishment of the new sod is weekly solid tine aerification of the new sod to help increase the rooting.  Fertility levels are increased and preventive fungicides are being applied to further help with the transition towards matching up with the rest of the greens on the golf course.

The Sand Applied To The Green

Solid Tine Aerification

The End Result