0 Deep aerator for the Polo centre at Coworth Park

Deep aerator for the Polo centre at Coworth Park

By Peter DriverCoworth-Pk-007A.jpg

Ian Graham, Head Groundsman at The Polo Centre, Coworth Park near Ascot in Berkshire, has recently purchased a Wiedenmann Terra Spike XP210 deep aerator to aid his turf maintenance regime at the 170 acre polo centre.

In making his purchasing decision Ian invited three of the major aerator manufacturers to a head-to-head demonstration at Coworth Park in order that his three preferred machines could be tested in identical conditions.

"We selected the Terra Spike because it performed well on the demonstration and because it's so robustly built. It's a solid piece of kit, it's easy to adjust with a single tool and spares availability is very good through the local dealer, TH White. It was the only machine to offer hydraulic depth control, which is very beneficial here. Also technically, the Wiedenmann people are very good."

The polo facilities at Coworth Park comprise 12.5 hectares and include two full size pitches and two stick and ball areas. The two main pitches are completely different in their soil structure and last year a combined 80 matches were played on them. Following this intensive use consultant agronomist Dr Tim Lodge was retained to offer advice on the maintenance regime and regular deep aeration was one of his recommendations.

"Previously we have hired in machines for this task", said Robert Kay, Senior Groundsman, "but purchasing our own machine gives us the flexibility to get on the ground when the conditions are right. We're using 19mm diameter tines and getting down around 230-260mm on pitch 1 and in about 200mm on pitch 2, which is a totally different soil composition. Even pitch 1 has differing soil structures running through it and that's why hydraulic depth control is so useful."

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