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 1513 + Carrier
John Deere Aercore 800
Toro ProCore 648
Ryan Lawnaire IV Plus
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 name is synonymous with deep aeration and the Verti-Drain 215.013SP is the latest in the family of machines that is renowned for its adjustable parallelogram forced heave system.
This system enables the V-D to give deep compaction relief, including between the holes, without causing surface disruption. Tines enter and exit in the true vertical plane but give a violent kickback in the ground to shatter the pan and introduce air.
Although the new aerator can be mounted to a suitable tractor (20hp upwards with 500kg lift capacity), matching it to the Carrier gives a self-propelled walk-in-front aerator, which then allows you to keep your tractor busy with other jobs.
"What a beast - that 32hp engine is powerful," Gardner notes. "With the Carrier it makes for a very solid, well-built and sturdy combination. The controls are simple to use - apart from the parking lock." The brake didn't disengage, resulting in wheel skids across the green. Ouch. "I had to rock the machine to free the brake," he explains.
The Carrier has smooth, wide tyres to minimise ground pressure and, having its own three-point hitch and PTO, can also be used to power other equipment such as the Speed-Seed and Charterhouse's Verti-Cut 1200 scarifier. It could be useful for football grounds where you do not want anything too big in the stadium.
Working width: 1.3m
Depth: Down to 150mm
Weight: 430kg or 950kg with carrier
List price: POA
Contact: Charterhouse Turf Machinery - 01428 661222