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Busy, busy with aeration, applications and topdressing

Parker Stancil


This past week at Great Northern, the talk was all about the aerification and topdressing we've been doing. After a long couple of days of hollow-tining greens, the crew worked really hard all day and got a few essential things done for post-aerification.

A few of the guys were sent out to push-spread Greenmaster Pro Lite 14-5-10 fertilizer with some magnesium. Magnesium is just as essential as nitrogen for turfgrass to produce the chlorophyll molecule.


John Cunningham, from Ireland, wrapping up his final pass on #17 green.


A quick snap of the product they applied.

A light topdress was applied to a decent portion of the golf course this first week. Greens, fairways, and foregreens (a European term for the approaches) all received some sand.


Here's one of the crew members loading fairway sand into a TyCrop, an earlier brandname for the Toro MH-400, to be spread.

After hollow-tining the greens, 30 "tonnes" of sand was applied. Europeans use the metric system rather than the Imperial system that Americans use, therefore, if we used the Imperial system in Denmark, I'd say around 66,000 pounds of topdressing material was applied.


The Dakota Turf Tender 310 that we use to topdress greens.

Head Greenkeeper, Aidan O'Hara, told me, "The sand we used was approved by Thomas Turf Lab in the U.S., which was the best match to be compatible with our root zone."


The Thomas Turf Lab approved topdressing sand.

Aidan is very big on topdressing at Great Northern. Once Aidan inherited a large thatch layer with his position as Head Greenkeeper, he decided his mission was to remove and dilute as much thatch as possible.


Soil profile from 2012. Lots of thatch!

Aidan and I examined profiles on our 12th green and found that his cultural plans are improving the soil quality. Hours upon hours of hollow coring have broken through the thick layer of organic matter that has accumulated on our greens.


Here you can really see the penetration from the hollow tines and the amount of topdressing Aidan has applied over the period of just a year.


Red: Hollow tine penetration. Blue: Organic mat layer. Yellow: Topdressing applications

With lots of topdressing material going out, the outsourced mechanic, Tom, has to do lots of grinding. Luckily, Tom gets to use a great Foley Accu-Master grinder.


Tom and I checking out the grinder.

After lots of hard work from everyone on staff, it's safe to say we're lookin' good! I got to walk away from this week with the confidence to use a Toro/"TyCrop" material handler, a GiANT loader, and a Dakota Turf Tender 310.

My new friend, John, was helpful in teaching me how he does a topdress application, and thanks to him, I am confident that I too can take on this job alone.


John wrapping up #2 on our 9 hole Academy course.


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