Improved drainage and compaction relief at Ashton Gate
By Peter Driver
Bristol City's head groundsman, Craig Richardson, has improved the drainage and relieved compaction at the Aston Gate stadium pitch with the recent purchase of a Wiedenmann Terra Spike G160 deep aerator.
"Our previous machine didn't penetrate the soil far enough and didn't have any heave facility; we used it for general aeration, not verti-draining. Now with the Terra Spike G160 we can penetrate up to 11", if necessary, and now aerate every week to 4" depth with no heave and once a month we go in to 8"-10" with heave to relieve compaction.
"This keeps the soil open and helps prevent diseases by combating anaerobic conditions. We've had the machine since late November last year and it definitely helped keep the pitch playable during a very wet winter."
Craig has been head groundsman at Ashton Gate for the past three years and previously worked in a greenkeeping role at the 27-hole Woodspring Golf & Country Club near Bristol.
"It's my greenkeeping experience that has taught me the benefits of deep aeration," he said. "The Wiedenmann XP has an extremely durable design and is more user friendly than other machines on the market. The controls are simple and easy to use and the robustness is particularly impressive. Completing the package was the service and aftercare that we have received from our dealers TH White, which has been excellent."