Aeration and scarification are important operations in the provision and maintenance of healthy turf. In this test we look at a wide range of machines to break compaction and reduce thatch to improve gaseous exchange and water percolation.
We start in the Walled Garden at the Cannington Campus, where we ask David Green to blast air and seaweed into the lawn and the area around the tree planted three years ago by the Earl of Wessex.
Then we move onto the golf course at Cannington Golf Club, part of the college, and put the ATT cassette system through its paces.
The latest Verti-Drain, Toro ProCore and John Deere Aercore are used on the greens. We undertake some hollow coring with the Ryan Lawnaire before using the tractor-mounted ProCore SR.
Finally, we look at two dedicated scarifiers - the pedestrian Charterhouse Pro and tractor-mounted Trilo VCU.
TESTED THIS WEEK
Terrain Aeration Scamper
ATT (Advanced Turf Technology) TMSystem
Verti-Drain 215.013SP + Carrier
John Deere Aercore 800
Toro ProCore 648
Toro ProCore SR70-S
Charterhouse Pro Scarifier
Trilo VCU 120 Scarifier
THE REVIEW PANEL
Andre Gardner, grounds manager, Bridgwater College, Cannington Campus
Hugh Murray, head greenkeeper, Cannington Golf Club
The Ryan Lawnaire IV Plus sufficiently narrow to slip through gates into back gardens or other areas of limited access.
Built by Ryan and supplied in the UK by Ransomes, the Lawnaire IV is a drum-type aerator that pulls itself along as it cores. The roller at the front is water ballasted for stability. Transport wheels allow the machine to be easily raised and lowered for manoeuvrability in tight areas and for crossing walkways or drives.
"It's a basic, simple hollow corer," says Murray. "It's quick and easy to put in and out of operation. The thing I didn't particularly like was the plate at the back. Some cores were dragged and smeared."
The hand brake took a bit of working out, but should prove useful when loading and unloading the unit from a trailer.
Working width: 48.3cm
Coring depth: Down to 70mm
Holes: 81 per square metre
Engine: 4hp Honda recoil start
Weight: 91kg dry, 127kg with water and weights
List price: £2,920 + VAT
Contact: Ransomes Jacobsen - 01473 270000