Abstract: Restore golf course turf with these procedures.
I’ll admit to loosing some turf during my 13-year golf course superintendent career. The worse loss happened when my golf course experienced a week of high humidity and drizzle in the first week in August. This caused a bout with a turf fungus called pythium. It’s been said that if you see pythium, it’s too late to do anything about it.
I woke up to a half acre of wilted fairway bentgrass. I overseeded with a conventional Jacobsen seeder mounted on the back of a tractor, and a month later new bentgrass filled in the dead areas.
I’ve done work for a private club with inconsistent rough turf. The irrigation coverage is spotty in these areas, and the turf suffers from poor density and a large amount of hard and tall fescue. The super has improved his fairways by doing the following procedures:
- In the late fall, we blecavate the roughs on a few holes. The work is done in the cold weather, so members never see the work. FYI-A blecavator is a sod and soil tilling machine mounted on a tractor. It’s mounted on a three-point hitch and powered by a PTO shaft. The contraption is lowered on to a turfed area and spinning blades pulverize the sod into tiny pieces. The spinning blades spin in a counter-clockwise rotation.
- In the spring, the blecavated areas are processed with a Harley rake, a tractor mounted soil processor that rolls the soil while extracting rocks. The rocks and debris are picked up by a skid-steer loader.
- After this process is completed, final grading and seeding is done. Seeding is planned for early-May, the ideal time for germination in Massachusetts.
If you need to renovate your golf course roughs (or sportsfield), use a blecavator to get the job done. You’ll end up with a better stand of turf than if you slice-seeded only.