Aeration is essential in managing and producing decent playing surfaces throughout the year. With higher demands and expectations from members golf is a 365 day a year sport come rain, snow or shine. Here at East Berkshire we have old traditional clay ‘push up’ greens which were built to hold onto water in the summer.
Drainage performance was not vital as little golf was played during the winter. By its very nature clay is prone to compaction which results in poor soil structure. As the soil structure deteriorates pore space is reduced and this has direct consequences on air/water movement and root growth. As compaction increases a downward spiral develops: bents and fescue grasses diminish, the rate of surface drainage decreases and greens sit wet in winter. Waterlogged conditions create further problems for growth of the desirable species. It is worth noting that roots grow in the spaces between soil particles and not ‘in’ the soil itself. There are various forms of aeration which include hollow coring, solid, star, slit and chisel tines. With the advancement in modern machinery regular aeration can be carried out quickly with little disturbance to the putting surface.