It’s In The Hole!
Spring came early in many parts of the country, producing an excess of thatch buildup that is now causing problems and becoming hydrophobic. When deciding whether to pull a core or use a solid tine, keep in mind what type of aerifier you are using. A solid tine should only be used on a heaving-type aerifier for compaction relief. If you are using a straight-up-and-down type of aerifier, a solid tine should only be used for seasonal venting. Then you can relieve compaction later with a heaving solid tine or a coring tine.
Coring tines may be used for thatch removal. Although 90 to 95 percent of thatch removal is accomplished through verticutting and topdressing, an important 5 to 10 percent of thatch is removed by pulling cores. This is especially helpful during hot, high-stress times when the thatch can become hydrophobic and repel irrigation water. Coring tines bring soil to the surface for topdressing. This can be cost-effective for fairways.
As you can see, the choice between solid and coring tines varies with the machine design, the problem being addressed and the desired outcome. There’s a time and place for both.