Aeration

For almost as long as the human race has been growing plants, we’ve known that roots need oxygen to grow and survive.  Without good air exchange, any plant-turf, trees or flowers, will not thrive unless that soil has a physical structure with enough pore space to store oxygen. 

Sports fields arguably, take more punishment than any other turf.  It isn’t the same as a home lawn or the neighbourhood park.  Ripping, tearing, pounding-athletes of all sizes and ages beat up turf.  Anything less than ideal soils will quickly become compacted, leaving the surface “hard as a rock”, especially after a rainfall.

It is not uncommon for athletes to sustain concussions when their heads hit the ground.  The impact of those concussions is now coming to the forefront, and those responsible for sports turf need to maximize their available resources in order to minimize the risk of head injuries on sports fields.

Aeration is a crucial element in Sports Field Management.  
What is it and how is it done?

  • Aeration is a mechanical process of opening up the soil (without destroying the turf in the process), which allows the release of toxic gases and the infiltration of oxygen and water. 
  • Depending on the soil type that exists, aeration is required on every field, but on some more critically than others. 
  • Clay or clay-based soils consist of tiny particles, that when compressed turn into a punishing surface for any athlete.  Odd that we know that bricks are made of clay, but that we don’t think about the consequences of having a clay soil on a sports field. 

Aeration Method Depends on the Application
Not all Aerators are created equal!

  • Generally speaking, turf roots will only extend as far down as the depth of the aeration hole.  What many people don’t know is that both the depth the tine penetrates the soil and the spacing of the tines is crucial in performing a beneficial aeration.  Too many fields have been “aerated” with a simple pull behind unit that relies on some weight to penetrate the soil.  Unless the soil is moist, the result is a hole that goes down an inch or two, and 9-12 inches apart.  This kind of aeration is often a complete waste of time and money.  
  • Mechanically driven aeration units provide a far better result and a greater  bang for your buck.  Larger tractors with lots of horse power drive these units and power the tine deep into the soil and the spacing is much tighter, 4 inches or less.

 

Core Aeration

Our Mechanically driven core aeration units provide a far better result and a greater bang for your buck.  Larger tractors with lots of horse power drive these units and power the tine deep into the soil and the spacing is much tighter, 4 inches or less.  Mechanical core aeration is much more consistent in penetrating compacted soils, removing thatch and soil opening up the turf for oxygen, water, fertilizer and top dressing materials to reach the sub-surface.


Deep Tining
Has long been a staple of golf course management.  Sports turf managers in the know use deep tining machines as much as their budgets will allow.  Why? These units have penetration depths of 9-12 inches which makes for much happier grass roots, and will significantly alleviate compaction. 


Shattertine
Units slice into the soil, but at the same time cause the hardened soil to fracture, thus opening up for air exchange and relief of compaction. These units are especially useful when the turf surface must be left as undisturbed as possible.


Verti-quake
Units are the mother of all aeration units. These slice down up to 15 inches and are particularly helpful for heavy clay fields in high demand.


Aeravators
Use a solid tine with a rotating motion to open up compacted soil.  Our units come equipped with seeding capability, allowing us to both overseed and aerate in one pass. 

Contact us for an inspection and a quote today!


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