PACE Turf - Turfgrass Information Center

Video: Kikuyugrass aeration and topdressing

In this video, we illustrate the aeration and topdressing process that was developed by Brian Archbold, El Niguel Country Club, for management of kikuyugrass fairways. Brian has been using this process consistently for 5 years with good results. He switches to solid tines for aeration if he feels that the process will result in too many complaints from unhappy golfers. Brian aerates fairways in May, August and September. The process involves the following steps:

  • Heavy irrigation several days prior to aeration to insure that the soil is receptive to aeration
  • Core aeration using 1.25 inch diameter tines to a depty of 6 - 8 inches
  • Application of 12 tons of sand per acre
  • Flail vertical mow to break up cores and incorporate sand
  • Drag to further break up cores and incorporate sand
  • Mow to complete the process

Video: Kikuyugrass aeration and topdressing

Superintendent collaboration in action: The kikuyugrass excellence summit

PACE Turf member Kevin Hutchins at Mission Viejo Country Club in Mission Viejo, California sponsored the first Kikuyugrass Excellence Summit in February, 2010, with a mission to improve kikuyugrass performance by enhancing communication among kikuyugrass superintendents and sharing their expert knowledge of kikuyugrass management. More than 25 golf course superintendents who currently manage kikuyugrass met to discuss all aspects of kikuyugrass management as a fine turf type for golf courses. The group has agreed to have periodic meetings in the future to further share ideas and test results. 

Three documents were prepared for the Summit:

List of Attendees

Name JobTitle Company
Bill Houlihan Superintendent Black Gold Golf Club
Brian Archbold Superintendent El Niguel Country Club
David Michael Superintendent Friendly Hills Country Club
Juan Maldonado Superintendent Glendora Country Club
Dennis Fowler Superintendent La Jolla Country Club
Sean Cincotta Superintendent Laguna Woods Golf Course
Matt Deuel Superintendent Las Posas Country Club
Arnie Peredia Superintendent Los Coyotes Country Club
Jose Prieto Superintendent Los Serranos Country Club
Bruce Duenow Superintendent Los Verdes Country Club
Robert Gluck Superintendent Mesa Verde Country Club
Kevin Hutchins Superintendent Mission Viejo Country Club
Ron Benedict Superintendent Newport Beach Country Club
Larry Stowell Scientist Pace Turf
Wendy Gelernter Scientist Pace Turf
Pat Gradoville Superintendent Palos Verdes Golf Club
Jim Pitman Superintendent Rolling Hills Country Club
Gus Nelson Superintendent San Clemente Golf Course
Rich Liddle Superintendent San Gabriel Country Club
David Zahrte Superintendent Santa Ana Country Club
Kurt Desiderio Superintendent Saticoy Country Club
Mike Wolpoff Superintendent Sea Cliff Country Club
Ken Graves Superintendent South Hills Country Club
Candice Combs Superintendent Torrey Pines Golf Course
Jim Baird Extension Specialist UC Riverside
Pat Gross Director USGA
Tim Wren Superintendent Yorba Linda Country Club

Gypsum vs. mined calcium sulfate anhydrite for sodium management

In the August 31, 2009 Super Journal report, "Gypsum vs. mined calcium sulfate anhydrite for sodium management" (263 KB pdf document), a study was conducted evaluate the ability of two calcium sulfate based products – gypsum (calcium sulfate dihydrate) and mined anhydrite (calcium sulfate anhydrite) to reduce soil sodium levels when applied to Poa annua greens prior to leaching. Key conclusions were:

  • Leaching of both treated and non-treated greens resulted in significant reductions in soil salinity, sulfur, chloride, magnesium, potassium, sodium, sodium percentage and nitrate.
  • One application of either mined anhydrite or gypsum at 10 lbs product/1000 sq ft did not result in further reductions in soil salts or sodium, or in an increase in soil calcium or sulfur. It was simply leaching, whether on the treated or non-treated greens, that provided the only significant reductions in soil salts.
  • The lack of observable effects caused by the application of either the mined anhydrite or gypsum has several possible causes. These include the possibility that:
    • the products are not effective under these conditions due to low solubility or other issues
    • the 10 lb product /1000 sq ft rate tested, which is the rate recommended on product labels, is too low to produce statistically significant changes when used in a single application
    • leaching overwhelmed the effect of the product by moving all salts below the sampling area
  • To follow up on the possibility that solubility was involved in the observed results, we obtained samples of commercial products based on gypsum (Allied Gypsum and Ultra Fine AG Gypsum Soil Conditioner), mined anhdydrite (Cal-CM Plus Mini-Prilled) and on an uncharacterized source of calcium sulfate (Cal-Sul) for analysis. Results of solubility tests clearly demonstrated that Cal-CM and Cal-Sul were much less soluble than the two gypsum products tested. While the low solubility of Cal-CM and Cal-Sul raises many questions about their potential as soil or water remediation tools, it is not the sole cause of the observed lack of efficacy in the field, since the highly soluble gypsum products also had no effect on soil salts or sodium.
  • To follow up on the possibility that use rates were too low to produce detectable results, follow-up field tests will be conducted
  • Until results from planned field tests confirm the optimal rate and use patterns for calcium sulfate-based soil amendments, the benefit of these applications for sodium management cannot be determined. For the time being, the best tool for reducing sodium and other damaging soil salts on turfgrass is leaching

Project title: Evaluation of gypsum and mined calcium anhydrite as pre-leaching soil amendments for sodium management on turfgrass

Principal investigators: Larry Stowell, Ph.D., CPAg and Wendy Gelernter, Ph.D., PACE Turf, LLC

Cooperator: Kevin Hutchins, Mission Viejo Country Club, Mission Viejo, CA

Report (263 KB pdf) posted 8/31/09

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