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Compaction on sand-based putting greens in the Lower Fraser Valley Sorokovsky, Peter

Abstract

Core aeration is a cultivation practice used to reduce soil compaction on sand-based putting greens. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of core aeration and play traffic on compaction of sand-based putting greens in the lower Fraser Valley of British Columbia. The experiment was carried out from March 2002 to May 2004 as a randomized complete block design with three replications. The treatments were (i) regular management practices, including core aeration, and high traffic (CA-HT), (ii) regular management practices, no core aeration, and high traffic (NCA-HT), and (iii) reduced management practices, no core aeration, and low traffic (NCA-LT). Similar soil organic matter content and root weight density were found on treatments with and without core aeration with the exception of one date (March 27, 2002). Soil water content of the mat layer on CA-HT was lower relative to NCA-HT on three out of four sampling dates that occurred a month after core aeration. Two months following core aeration soil water contents were similar among all treatments. Water retention was not affected by core aeration or play traffic intensity. Mat layer soil bulk density was lower on NCA-LT then NCA-HT and CA-HT at two out of six sampling dates. There was no difference in soil bulk density of the mat layer between CA-HT and NCAHT, with an exception of one date (June 18, 2003). Soil penetration resistance on NCA-LT was lower relative to the other two treatments at depths below 3 cm. About one month after core aeration soil penetration resistance was lower for CA-HT than NCA-HT treatment. Greater water infiltration rates were observed on NCA-LT than on the other two treatments. Water infiltration rates showed that about a month after core aeration CA-HT had greater infiltration than NCA-HT. This difference disappeared when measurements were taken three and five months after core aeration. Soil penetration resistance and water infiltration measurements indicated that core aeration reduced compaction on sand-based putting greens, but the effects were temporary and differences observed between treatments disappeared within several months following application.

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