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Message Board - Football: Aeration

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superdon
Posted 29 Mar 2010
Avatar: Dhekelia
Posts: 11

Hi,
I have recently got involved with the pitch care of a local football club. We are a small club with limited funds and a somewhat problematic pitch - in the winter it is soggy and muddy and in the summer bone hard.
Having done some limited research it appears one of the key elements to improving conditions is aeration of the pitch. We have a ride on mower with a hitch pin which is currently used to pull a roller at present (wrong thing to do I have since found out!) The only towed aerators I can find seem to slit up to 75mm;

Will slitting to this depth be of any benifit?

Thanks
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Dave
Posted 29 Mar 2010
Avatar: Belgian Tervuren
Posts: 745

Donald, welcome!

Can you find out some history to the pitch.

Is there any drainage underneath?
Has there been any regular aeration in the past?

Good aeration is certainly a key part of pitch improvement as this will help remove water from the surface and the space created will also allow air into the ground and the grass roots to breathe and flourish.


You do need to be able to get this excess water away underneath so a slitter will help, but you will probably need to supplement this with some deeper spiking, using a verti-drain or similar type deep aerator.
The soil type sounds like it's heavy loam and therefore poor draining.

If you dig a small section out is the top few inches compact? spongy? Does the soil further down also appear wet or is it drier?

What sort of depth do the roots get to in the profile when you take out a section.


Please let us know and we'll do our best to offer more advice.

Cheers,
Dave
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superdon
Posted 31 Mar 2010
Avatar: Dhekelia
Posts: 11

Dave,

Thanks for taking the time to respond.

There is drainage in the park - the extent and quality I don't know. It is a council pitch and as such they do very little areation - some slitting once or twice a year if we're lucky!

If funds can be raised we plan to do an amount of end of season renovation - scarify, verti-drain, overseed and fertilize to try and ease the compaction and thicken the grass as it get pretty bare. To make sure it's not wasted money however we also hope to intorduce our own aerating regieme (slit tine) throughout next season, hence the initial question.

When I get a chance I will take a ground sample and possibly refer back?

Thanks,

Donald
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Dave
Posted 31 Mar 2010
Avatar: Belgian Tervuren
Posts: 745

No problem Donald.

To make a fair assessment, you really need to have a dig down and see what you have. If you can take some pictures of the profile and general shots of the pitch and post on here that would be good to.

Cheers,
Dave

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