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Agronomy Journal Abstract - Agronomy, Soils & Environmental Quality

Effect of Core Aerification Frequency, Area Impacted, and Topdressing Rate on Turf Quality and Soil Physical Properties


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 104 No. 6, p. 1710-1715
    Received: June 17, 2012
    Published: October 25, 2012

    * Corresponding author(s): JeffreyLAtkinson@gmail.com
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  1. Jeffrey L. Atkinson *a,
  2. Lambert B. McCartya and
  3. William C. Bridges Jr.b
  1. a School of Agricultural, Forest, and Environmental Sciences, Clemson Univ., 50 Cherry Rd., Clemson, SC 29634-0319
    b School of Mathematical Sciences, Clemson Univ., Clemson, SC 29634-0319


Soil compaction often occurs in heavily trafficked turf areas such as golf course putting greens and sports fields. Although research exists on benefits of proper aerification, insufficient data exists quantifying the effect of removing, or “impacting,” specific amounts of surface area per year, number of aerification events per year, or amount of topdressing applied post-aerification on turfgrass quality and soil physical properties. Understanding these effects was the objective of this study. The study was conducted on a 10-yr-old U.S. Golf Association (USGA)-specified TifEagle bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt Davy] research putting green to evaluate two yearly totals of percent surface area impacted, 15 and 25, summed through one, two, or three aerification events per year, with cores removed. Following aerification, treatments received one of two topdressing rates; the mathematical equivalent of soil removed with aerification or half this rate. Turf quality declined for ∼4 wk after each aerification event, at which point it typically improved. Increasing number of aerification events per year from one to three reduced bulk density (BD) between 5 and 9%, surface hardness between 5 and 19%, and thatch–mat organic matter content 10% in Year 2. Infiltration rates were highest in single aerification event treatments during the same year. Overall, increasing amount of surface area impacted and number of aerification events per year improved soil physical properties. Reducing frequency of aerification while impacting the same amount of surface area per year increased overall visual turfgrass quality while not yielding similar improvements in soil physical properties.

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Copyright © 2012. Copyright © 2012 by the American Society of Agronomy, Inc.