Why Aerification is Crucial
It's a perfect sunny morning and it is that time of year again. This is the time when area courses begin their summer "maintenance" programs a.k.a. aerification. Every year we aerify looking to achieve good, quality putting condition in the season. Consider that aerification is merely a short-term disruption that has long-term benefits for the course. When you see them, remember that without those little holes, the greens would eventually die.
Like so things, the quality of good putting greens is more that skin deep. In fact the condition of a green has a lot to do with what goes on below the surface. In order to keep grass growing at 1/8 inch you have to have deep, healthy roots. Good roots demand oxygen. In good soil they get the oxygen from tiny pockets of air trapped between soil and particles. Over time, the traffic from golfers' feet (as well as heavy mowing equipment) tends to compact the soil under the putting green. When soil becomes compacted, the air pockets on which the roots depend on are crushed and the roots are essentially left gasping for air. Without oxygen the grass plants will wither and die.
Aerification is a mechanical process that creates more air space in the soil and promotes deeper rooting thus helping the grass plants stay healthy. In most cases it's done by removing various size cores (those plugs you sometimes see near a green or in fairways) The spaces are then filled with sand "topdressing" that helps the soil retain air space and makes it easier for roots to grow downward. The bottom line is that aerification is a necessary practice to have healthy greens.
The Green's Staff
The Staff at lowville thought we should post some information on frost and frost delays. No one likes frost delays - maintenance workers especially - but they are necessary for the health of the course. Golf course employees ask for your understanding during frost delays. We don't like them either.
Here are some key points from the Golf Course Superintendent Association:
• Frost is basically frozen dew that has crystallized on the grass, making it hard and brittle. A grass blade is actually 90 percent water, therefore it also freezes.
• Walking on frost-covered greens causes the plant to break and cell walls to rupture, thereby losing its ability to function normally.
• When damaged, the putting surface weakens and becomes more susceptible to disease and weeds.
• One foursome can leave several hundred footprints on each green, causing extensive damage.
• A short delay while the frost melts can preserve the quality of the greens and prevent needless repairs.
The following is a video from the USGA:
Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Lowville is an accredited golf course in this program.
Welcome to the Ontario IPM Accreditation Program
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a process that uses all necessary techniques to suppress pests effectively, economically and in an environmentally sound manner. IPM employs a two-pronged approach: managing the plant environment to prevent problems and using thresholds to decide how and when to treat pests.
Ontario cosmetic pesticides ban came into effect April 22, 2009. The requirements of the ban are detailed in Ontario Regulation 63/09 made under the Pesticides Act, which has been amended by the Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act, 2008. You can obtain information about Ontario Regulation 63/09 from
The ban contains exceptions for health or safety (including public works, or, buildings and other structures that are not public works), golf courses, specialty turf, specified sports fields, aboriculture and the protection of natural resources, if certain conditions are met.
For questions or comments about this website or the information contained herein, please contact:
IPM Accreditation Program
c/o University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus
120 Main Street East
Ridgetown, ON N0P 2C0
Telephone: 1-866-385-4762 or 519-674-1538
Click Here for complete details about the IPM Accreditation Process for golf courses