With the nice weather early in the week we continued on with mowing the native areas down as well as work with the sand injection verticutter (Graden). The Graden is a slow process and on a great day we can get three tee complexes finished. On average each tee receives almost a ton of dry sand. This creates an instantly firm surface and removes a nice amount of thatch material all at the same time.
We also finished up our compost application in the rough and on a few fairways. While still visible on the fairways, the compost will break down over the winter months and provide an awesome green up in the spring. The more food we can provide to the biology in the soil the better. As the microbes breakdown the compost (carbon), they release nitrogen and other nutrients that were previously bound in the soil. This essentially equates to "free" fertilizer, and a very healthy Golf Course.
The big project for the week was up at the tennis courts. The original irrigation set up on the courts was not ideal as we only had 4 sprinkler heads in each corner of the long rectangle of the tennis court. We have now added 4 more sprinkler heads per court. This gives us 4 heads on each side of the net and now puts us much closer to a square watering pattern. The new configuration will let us water the courts more frequently with less water and the proper distribution should help keep the courts evenly moist. Installing the heads was quite a chore, one that took most of the crew 4 days to complete. The trenches were all hand dug and we had to break through an old plastic liner that was under the courts. Since each head is controlled by our central irrigation system, we had to run copper wire to each head. This took some ingenuity, planning and extra thinking. At the end of the day, we have all the heads hooked in to the satellite box in the clubhouse lawn and all can be run by our smart phones.
As we worked our way across the courts installing the 20 new irrigation heads, we also scarified the courts and started resurfacing them. With the courts nice and firm now, it was easy to poke holes in them, smooth them out and apply new clay. The colder and normally wet weather will keep the clay preserved through the winter. In the spring we will once again check for any low spots and then just start rolling the courts to get them firm and put down the lines. Having to put down clay in the spring is usually a 3 day process and finding 3 dry days at the beginning of April is not easy, especially when we are wanting to aerate the Golf Course at the same time. Now we should be in great position in the spring for a better than ever 2016 season.