Grounds staff at Port Stephens Council in NSW were delighted withthe results after hiring a deep tine aerator from Kennards Groundcare Hir e torenovate 16 multi-purpose paying fields. This tractor-drawn attachment creates 19mm (3/4in) holes and hasan adjustable hydraulic top linkage which keeps the implement level at alltimes.
Ray Ambrose, sports fields team leader for Port Stephens Council,said the playing fields were laid between three and 45 years ago and have asand base with a heavier surface profile.
“Due to long term cultural practices, budgets, constructionmanagement and user compaction we have over the years developed a soil profilebarrier,” he said. “This consists of a heavier soil barrier in the surfacelayer to a depth of about 100mm.“Traditionally, we have used 3\4in hollow tines to a depth ofabout 50-75mm at renovation time in spring.“While this achieves most of our short term goals for growth, longterm it has gradually created more compaction and less water percolation(downward movement of water in soil).
“As the cores are left to break down on the surface, creating alight top dress, it has stimulated turf growth but at the same time continuedour poor soil profile.“Last spring, staff looked at ways to improve our renovationprocedures with special attention to drainage and our compaction problems, yetmaintain turf growth.
“We decided to use Kennards’ deep coring machine with 3\4in solidtines and to a minimum depth of 150mm. The theory was to push the heavy soilcores into the vast sand area of the subsoil and base.
“We achieved an excellent result with establishment of turf to anoptimum cover in six weeks, compared to the previous 12 weeks. This was mainly due to greater water movement and extra breakdownof compaction. Most important was the great result of percolation of thesurface water during winter."
“This enabled us to not close any fields during the rainy periodsof winter and still provide a safe surface for our users. We have developed a reputation for very good wet weather fieldsand regularly allow ‘out of area clubs’ to use our facilities for ‘catch up’games during the week and on Sundays.”
Kennards Groundcare offers a wide range of aeratingoptions.
As well as the deep-tine aerator, there is the ride-onaerator, Aera-Vator with vibrating spikes, PTO driven corer and walk-behindcorer.