Our last measurable rainfall was on June 12th. Coupled with a lack of snow over the winter means the soil moisture levels are very low. If the weather forecasters are correct and we experience a cool down in temperatures starting Monday we will let carts on fairways starting Tuesday. Let's hope the weather forecasts are correct! Again, we are looking at several options so we can have carts on fairways as much as possible. Several of these look promising.
Overall collars are undoubtedly improved. The problem ones remain a problem but we know why they are a problem and are actively implementing the solutions. Here's a picture I posted last year of the soil profile of one of our bad collar areas that I zoomed in on:
The red arrow is pointing to a light brown clay layer that came in on the sod. The blue arrow points to a much darker layer where water has not penetrated through this clay layer and is forming an anaerobic (without oxygen) condition for the roots. This is repeated an inch below. The black arrow points to a DryJect hole backfilled with a material called Profile. Laboratory tests have shown no diseases present but an anaerobic condition where the plants are trying to grow causing a lack of adventitious roots and roots hairs. These are the types of roots that nutrients and water pass through into the plant.
Aggressive aerification is the answer! Removal of these layers is the key. Plus using boards to turn mowers on and other practices to reduce stress on the collars have and will improve these areas even more.
This week we sent another sample off to measures the physical characteristics of this area. Hopefully we can get a little bit clearer idea of how much aerification will be needed.
Some may be asking why we do not remove the rootzone to a depth below the layering and start anew. While an option, this will cause another set of problems, plus we do not want to sod which is the cause of the layering in the first place.