Deep aeration cures waterlogging long term

Tony Hawkinsin Drainage & Irrigation

Heavy downpours of rain on compacted grass areas on sports pitches, bowling greens, golf courses and amenity areas can leave standing water, rendering them unusable and stopping play. The action of normal aeration, use of machines and foot traffic over time can leave areas compacted and panning occurs, causing poor drainage and depriving grass roots of oxygen and nutrients.

Sports turf specialists Terrain Aeration have been providing a long-term solution to this for over twenty five years, using one- metre deep penetration of the playing surface.

The Terrain Aeration Terralift machine not only solves the immediate compaction problem, the process has a beneficial effect that lasts many years. It works like this. The Terralift hammers a hollow probe one metre into the soil using a JCB road breaker gun (this is because the ground is usually so compact at depth that it needs this hammer to break through). Once the probe has reached one metre depth, compressed air is released up to a maximum of 20Bar (280psi), the Terralift being the only machine using such high air pressure, which is needed to fracture and fissure the soil. The probe is withdrawn and the process repeated using two-metre centre spacings on a staggered grid pattern - this means that each shot interconnects with the previous ones.

On the tail end of the air blast, dried seaweed is injected which sticks to the walls of the fractures and fissures and, over time, expands and contracts with the moisture content in the soil - similar to "breathing" underground. The 1½" probe holes created by the Terralift machine are backfilled with aggregate to provide a semi permanent aeration/ventilation shaft, helping to keep the whole aeration process working. The top 1" should be topped with the usual top dressing to encourage grass growth over the probe holes. The Terrain Aeration process is ecologically sound, there is no mess and once the pitch or green has been given a light mow it's ready for play to resume.

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