Sunday, August 31, 2014

DryJect Demo--Changing Perceptions about Aerification

It's time to talk about aerification again.  Don't panic we are not going to aerify the greens again this year but we are already discussing the aerification timing and process for next year.  As I have said before, aerification is a "necessary evil" but if we can find techniques and processes that will provide our greens with the cultivation management needed but will be less disruptive to the putting surface and require less time to recover then we will investigate that process.

On Friday we saw a demonstration of a "new" technique known as DryJect from Chad Gamble owner of DryJect of Tennessee.  The DryJect process is unique from traditional core aerification in that it uses high pressure water injectors to incorporate sand or amendments directly into the putting green profile.  This is different from core aerification where sand and/or amendments are placed on top of the green and every attempt is made to drag/brush/broom the sand down into the holes, which honestly is nearly impossible to accomplish.

This illustration shows how the DryJect process works to make for a better aerification process with little to no disruption to the putting green surface while at the same time completely filling the soil with sand or amendments and fracturing the subsurface of the green to provide greater movement of air, water, and roots.  The DryJect process is better for the soil also because compared to normal core aerification it does not "glaze" the side of the core hole which limits where air, water, and roots can penetrate.

Here is a link to a very informative video made by a good friend of mine, Mark Langner, Director of Agronomy at Pursell Farms in Alabama made the DryJect process and why it is beneficial.

This is a photo of the demo area on the putting green on Friday following a pushbroom brushing and a rolling.  The spacing on the DryJect in this area was spaced at 3" x 3" and placed the sand/amendment to a depth of at least 6" deep, leaving a hole on the putting surface close to 3/8" in size.  Once broomed and rolled we were very impressed with how firm and smooth the area was and Robin and Mr. Nixon had no issues with putting quality.

Here is a photo of the same area on Saturday morning after the area had an irrigation cycle applied to it and had been mowed.  Even though you could tell that something had been done to the area it was drastically different in both firmness and smoothness from what one would expect to experience following a normal core aerification.

As we look ahead to next year we hope to continue our pursuit of providing you with a high quality golf course from putting green to fairway to bunker.  Each improvement we make to our maintenance program and practices helps us to achieve our goal of being among the best golf courses around and somewhere everyone will want to play.  We hope we can include the unique DryJect process into those programs and reduce our need to aerify the greens so aggressively or as often.  A "win-win" for everyone.

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