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  • Author or Editor: Patrick H. McLoughlin x
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Aerification and topdressing are important cultural management practices that help prevent organic matter accumulation and soil compaction in golf greens. However, these practices result in surface disruption and decreased putting quality during recovery. A 2-year study was conducted on a ‘TifEagle’ hybrid bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon × C. transvaalensis) putting green to determine the effect of different aerification methods and topdressing materials on soil properties and turfgrass recovery. Plots were aerified four times per year (May to Aug.) using 1/2-inch hollow tines, 1/4-inch hollow needle tines, hollow tines 2X + hollow needle tines 2X, or sand injection, and topdressed with either 90:10 (sand:peat) or green-dyed sand. Visual quality, normalized difference vegetation index, percent green cover, dark green color index (DGCI), surface firmness and volumetric water content were measured before initial aerification and at 7 and 21 days after aerification. Saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat) and organic matter (OM) content were measured monthly. Aerification with hollow tines and hollow tines 2X + hollow needle tines 2X resulted in lower firmness and OM and higher Ksat compared with hollow needle tines and sand injection. Sand injection showed the highest percent green cover and similar OM content compared with hollow tines and hollow tines 2X + hollow needle tines 2X. Green-dyed sand showed a higher percent green cover and DGCI compared with 90:10 sand:peat. Using hollow tines only or alternating them with hollow needle tines is the best option to decrease OM content while increasing Ksat in hybrid bermudagrass greens; however, their use could result in slower turfgrass recovery compared with other aerification methods.

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