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
Ryan Lawnaire IV Plus
Toro ProCore SR70-S
Charterhouse Pro Scarifier
THE REVIEW PANEL
Andre Gardner, grounds manager, Bridgwater College, Cannington Campus
Hugh Murray, head greenkeeper, Cannington Golf Club
"This is a great piece of kit," says Murray. "We have a fairway scarifier, which is a bit bigger, but I don't think it would rip out this much thatch."
Gardner drives the Iseki tractor up and down the fairway. The VCU is entirely mechanical, so there is no fear of hydraulic leaks, and offset design allows it to scarify beyond the tractor wheel right up to the edge of the turf and down to 50mm.
The VCU 120 is equipped as standard with 24 blades, each with 10 teeth, and a blade spacing of 50mm (optional 25mm).
"It's certainly does the job," says Murray. "It's good that the roller is close to the back wheels - it will help the unit follow the contours."
Working width: 1.2m
Depth: Down to 50mm
Cutting system: 24 blades
Tractor requirement: 20hp
List price: POA
Contact: The Grass Group - 01638 720123