Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Quad-cutting greens

    I just wanted to give everyone a heads up on yesterday's Verticutting of the greens. We are actually quad-cutting the greens.
 What this means is that when we verticut the green we make the first pass, and then our second pass is over the same section we just verticut. This is done in order to properly remove the grain. since the grain generally grows in a few directions we cannot verticut them like we cut the greens, which has us make one pass then the next pass is on the side of the first pass. We have found that if you do not repeat a pass over the one you just cut you leave a checker board type pattern from removing more grass when cutting against the grain. I started this method about 9 years ago seeing a need to get away from the normal way of Verticutting the green. Now in order for us to quad cut the green we have to complete the first Verticutting of the green and then do it again cross ways from the first cut (like a cross cut). This removes a lot of material from the greens. The plan is to get the old dead material as well as the Poa Annua removed from the surface of the green. while leveling out old ball marks or plugs that may be a little high.

    After we complete each green, we are removing the debris from the surface of the green using a water hose. We have tried cutting them with a greens mower but that left too much on the green so we tried back-pack blowers which work ok but still leaves some material left on the green. We use this same method with the water hoses as we do when we aerify the greens. This flushes it all off of the surface of the green and we either wash it into the rough or we wash it far enough from the green surface that our greens mowers will not pick it up on its wheels and redeposit back on the greens.
     From here on out this method will be called quad-cutting when I am referring to it.
    We plan on topdressing after we are completed. It looks like we will be topdressing either tomorrow or Wednesday. I expect the greens to brown out to some extent from the serious bruising we are placing on them. This will go away in about 3-5 days. The greens will be pretty thin in places but will fill in pretty fast with the warm weather we are having. This is the first time we have ever quad-cut the greens and will serve as a test to see how well the greens respond to the damage inflicted on them. I am hoping that they heal over really fast and respond well. If everything works out with the process we will consider using this multiple times during the year. We may only have to quad-cut once per month instead of Verticutting every other week. This could save us time and money and possibly make our greens healthier in the long run. I know we have had to skip many Verticutting dates in the pass due to outside tournaments or weather issues, so being able to do it once per month may solve those issues also.
    The main reason for Verticutting the green is to remove plant material from the green that would normally turn into an organic layer or thatch matt which leads to other issues.