An especially lucid abstract about core aeration

Please forgive me for mentioning hollow-tine cultivation (or core aeration, or coring) yet again, and how it might be overdone. There’s an article I want to share with you, about what happened after coring of sand-based putting greens.

This article starts with an abstract of unusual lucidity.

After pointing out that “treatments with and without core aeration had similar soil organic matter content, root weight density, and soil bulk density,” they concluded with this:

The limited benefits of the low-surface-area-impact core aeration on the maturing sand-based putting greens in a humid maritime climate suggest that this practice might not be worth doing …

These results are described in Core aeration of sand-based putting greens in the Lower Fraser Valley of British Columbia by Sorokovsky et al.

This experiment was conducted on 10 year old greens, on a golf course in Surrey, British Columbia, and they had weekly traffic of about 1,100 golf rounds from April to October.

In the experiment described in the article, the coring treatment was spring and fall, at 5% surface area removed each time, and holes were filled with sand. That’s 10% of the surface area removed and replaced with sand each year. These treatments were applied for two consecutive years. Over those two years, soil characteristics were measured in the two different treatments of:

  1. “regular management practices, including core aeration”

  2. “regular management practices, but no core aeration”

And after investigating all the results, and assessing the the effects of core aeration, they came to a blunt conclusion: “this practice might not be worth doing."

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