Topdressing and aerification programs on creeping bentgrass fairways
The proper timing of topdressing and aerification for creeping bentgrass(Agrostis stolonifera L.) fairways and the effect that these two cultural practices have on soil physical properties have not been fully assessed. The first objective of this study was to determine the optimum timing of topdressing and aerification for golf course fairways. The second objective was to determine if varying schedules of topdressing and aerification influence the extent to which soil physical properties change following freeze-thaw cycles. The two year field study was conducted at Ames, IA, and Fargo, ND on established creeping bentgrass maintained at fairway mowing height. The study included three topdressing treatments: a control, with no topdressing; 3.2 mm topdressing in the fall; and 3.2 mm topdressing in the spring plus 3.2 mm in the fall. Six aerification treatments including a control, spring one pass, fall one pass, spring two passes, fall two passes, and spring one pass plus fall one pass were also evaluated. Soil bulk density decreased during both over winter periods at both locations from 4 to 6%, however, topdressing and aerification treatments did not consistently influence over-winter soil bulk density change. Topdressing and aerification increased turf quality at North Dakota but not Iowa. Soil in plots aerified in the fall had 4% lower soil strength than those aerified in the spring at both sites. Soil in aerified plots had a 48% increase in water infiltration as compared to the control at North Dakota but no increase was observed at Iowa.