The first trick after the cores are pulled is to time the processing of them just right. Dave Oatis, Director of the Northeast Region of the USGA Green Section, once commented that we have "60 second soil." He was referring to the very narrow window of opportunity when aerification plugs are neither too wet nor too dry. If we start working the fairway a bit soon, we end up with mud, mashed into the turf. However, if we're a minute too late, the plugs dry into something you could make pottery out of, and won't break up.
|Aerification plugs on #1 fairway, starting to dry.|
|Mike is processing cores on #18 fairway.|
After dragging, the thatch is picked up and hauled away. The final step is blowing, using both a tractor-mounted blower, and several backpack blowers. This part of the process is very labor-intensive, but the end result is a clean fairway which will heal quickly.
|Thatch removal and blowing on #18.|
|#18 fairway the day after aerification.|