Regular and seasonal aeration is essential to ensure that turfgrass quality is maintained throughout the playing season. The impact and cost of not carrying out these operations can be high, resulting in lost or cancelled fixtures which will have other impacts for the club members / users, often resulting in lost revenue.
What is aeration?
Aeration is the process of physically altering the soil structure, usually by creating holes or channels in the soil to increase pore space. This encourages the penetration and circulation of air, water and nutrients, all of which improves general soil health and root growth.
Why is aeration important for turf?
Over time, the continued use of turf, lawn or pitches by both people and machinery can compact the soil, thus reducing the size and frequency of pore spaces and causing issues for circulation, ventilation and root growth. Compacted soil creates numerous problems for soil health such as: ponding and waterlogging, thatch buildup, reduction in soil oxygen levels, and is overall a more difficult environment for roots to grow and thrive.
Without aeration, surfaces may be rendered unplayable and low quality – leading to disruption and loss of revenue.
The benefits of aeration include:
- Improves soil drainage (water infiltration)
- Helps soil warm up more quickly to aid root growth
- Increases the soil pore space, which in turn promotes gaseous exchange in the soil to improve root development
- Helps top dressing to integrate into the soil profile
- Breaks down thatch and organic matter
- Promotes healthier, firmer and more high-performance playing surfaces to enhance ball travel
- Improves the firmness and dryness of the surface, aiding ball bounce and also surface grip
What are the types of aeration?
If soil health is to improve, compacted layers of soil will need to be alleviated. There are a range of techniques and equipment available to assist with the variety of playing surfaces. Aeration can be achieved by several different techniques, such as:
Hollow tines: Removes a core from the playing field, allowing the compacted earth to expand.
Solid tines: Unlike the above technique, solid tines do not remove a core. For certain types of playing surface, or at specific times of the year, this method may be more favourable.
Water aeration systems such as hydrojecting. This technique does not disturb the playing surface and so can be used all throughout the year.
Compressed air systems
Linear aerators: Emerging as new options on the market, these techniques will open up the ground and fill up the space with permeable materials.
Remember that aeration is just one aspect of turf maintenance and should also be accompanied by fertilisation, mowing and watering.
If you’re searching for pitch and turf maintenance, look no further than Turfcare Specialists. With over 30 years’ experience as a best value solution provider, we work with a broad spectrum of clients ranging from amateur clubs to large organisations – helping to keep natural and artificial turf in prime condition. We serve clients throughout the North East and Cumbria, so get in touch today to find out more.