Aerating is a critical step that is often overlooked by those wanting to ensure their turfs are kept in pristine condition. QTurf understands that the quality of your turf directly reflects on your whole club and its facilities – even its brand! – so we’ve compiled this article to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your aerating efforts.
What is aerating?
Aerating is basically the perforation of soil that allows air, water and nutrients to penetrate past the grassroots. This step ensures that roots grow deeply and it produces a stronger, more durable blade. Another benefit of aeration is the reduction in soil compaction. Soil that has been repeatedly compacted has very few spaces between the soil particles, again reducing the air, water and nutrients that can be transported to the roots. Aeration is especially important on turfs that have a high traffic volume, or sports turfs that are subject to extremely rough use (such as rugby fields).
When is the best time to aerate turf?
The best time to aerate turf is during the growing seasons. This is to ensure that the newly created holes are filled relatively quickly with new roots. As the weather starts to cool, growth starts to slow. Mowing frequency will start to reduce during this period too, as the plant is not in its most accelerated growth period. Luckily, in Australia, we don’t often get prolonged periods of temperatures below 10 degrees celsius (rumoured to be the cut off point for growth in grass), so aeration can be performed more regularly during the warmer months.
What machines are the best for aerating turf?
The style or type of aerator you decide upon will be directly related to the type of turf that you’re maintaining. QTurf stocks a wide range of Wiedenmann aerators. Below is a quick list of what we consider to be the best, for different applications:
Terra Spike GXi 6 – This aerator is a dedicated unit for golf greens, tees, and sand-based sports grounds. It has a high area coverage and excellent working quality. We rate this aerator as a very user-friendly setup with great technical reliability and long service life. This is considered to be more of an entry level unit.
Terra Spike GXi 8 HD – This is the next level up from the GXi 6 and features Wiedenmann’s exclusive QuickFit System and only has 6 greasing points. This machine is designed for golf greens, tees, and sand based sport fields, but should only be considered by those who run professional facilities with turfs that require perfect turns and quick turn-around time.
Terra Spike XD 8 – With exceptionally deep aerating capabilities (27.5cm or 11”), the XD 8 is the ideal aerator for race courses and fairways on golf courses. It features a high area coverage and excellent working quality.
Terra Float – This aerating unit is ideal for undulating terrain, given that it is made with a 3 part suspended tool roller that can be optionally fitted with spike or star-shaped tools. For overseeding, this unit is perfect with its subsequent parallelogram-suspended seed brush to further push the seed into the soil.