PDA

View Full Version : Deep-Tine Aerification


foreplease
10-24-2008, 12:24 AM
Is anyone else doing deep-tine aerification on athletic fields? Last week I had 7 baseball and softball fields and 6 soccer goal boxes done. It is an impressive machine! This is the first year I have tried it. It seems like a good program would be to alternate core aeration and deep-tining from one year to the next. I will not decide until late next summer. A big part of me still likes the idea of pulling plugs and dragging them in on fields with heavy soils.

I have posted a few photos below and am interested in experience or feedback you have.

In late July, we did a soccer field that has a heavy and deep clay base. Despite a rainy September here (14”), no scheduled games had to be postponed or rescheduled.

1. A close-up of the business end of the machine.

2. This is one of the soccer goals on a practice field. On the second arm from the right, you can see the depth reached.

3. Close-up of the surface after one pass (we’re working on the turf quality on this practice field).

4. Ready to use immediately.

Rtom45
10-24-2008, 12:58 PM
We used shatter core aeration on soccer fields back in the 90's when I worked for another Colllege. Very effective for severely compacted soil. I would not use that type of machine on a field that has any kind of irrigation system.

jaybird24
10-25-2008, 12:18 AM
Seems like a good way to get water and nutrients down deep. I too like the plugs, but doing them every other year seems like a good plan. I have a friend who works at a golf course that hires a company to come in occasionally with machines that drill holes pretty deep, so there must be some benefit over shallow plugs.

topsites
10-25-2008, 12:17 PM
What if it doesn't pull plugs it's no better than a spike aerator, all these things
are doing is further compacting the soil, complete waste of time and effort.

There's no re-inventing the wheel with this, if you're using inferior products then no matter
how many different inferior products you try you will continue to see inferior results, this
type of trial and error here is a vain and fruitless search that will yield little except maybe
the occasional "yeah I THINK it's better"

Now if you want better results try a Walk-behind core aerator,
and that will work you but at least you'll know the reason.

foreplease
10-25-2008, 07:02 PM
You are entitled to your opinion. I researched this thoroughly before trying it on a demonstration basis several months ago. You have to be fairly serious and knowledgeable before someone would drive across the state of Michigan to do a demonstration in the first place, so please know that about me.

In addition to reading articles for and against, I discussed it with two golf course superintendents who I respect. Also with a former turf school classmate who calls on schools and parks all over the state that have experience with deep-tine aerification.

Long before making the decision to recommend this service to customers, I had several months to see the affects for myself on the soccer field done earlier in the year. Call me progressive or open minded, but I had the demo filmed and invited potential customers to see the machine in action while it was here the first time.

Finally, at the urging of the person who performed the service, I examined the soil profile in cross section after it had been deep-tined and was well pleased.

The argument I think you are using - compacting the soil even further at the level where the tines bottom out - can be made for any cultivation practice. Core aeration on turf and roto-tilling, plowing, or discing farmland can all be said to create a hardpan layer at the bottom of the tool doing the work. Risk and return. Weigh the consequences. I prefer to move my problem areas as far from the playing surface as possible.

I haven't reinvented the wheel or bought into doing so. Different tires for different seasons. I am seeing excellent results, but I am not stuck on any one method or material. When I go back to core aerating, I doubt I will attack 8-9 acres in a day with a walk behind aerator. They are good for certain things, but production is not one of them. I have a Ryan GA-60 I could have used and will again.

You can find much information on line about deep-tine aerification, take my word for it, do your own research and experimenting, or you can cling to your own vain unsubstantiated opinions.


There's no re-inventing the wheel with this, if you're using inferior products then no matter how many different inferior products you try you will continue to see inferior results, this
type of trial and error here is a vain and fruitless search that will yield little except maybe the occasional "yeah I THINK it's better"

Now if you want better results try a Walk-behind core aerator,
and that will work you but at least you'll know the reason.

DiyDave
10-27-2008, 10:25 PM
I use a Genesis tillage gentill 2 shattertine aerator. Works great to get water to penetrate deeper than regular core aeration. When done on waterways, it increases soil infiltration, decreases runoff. Don't let the uninformed get you down, they just have not heard of the results. I just laugh all the way to the bank!:laugh::laugh:

Marcos
10-28-2008, 09:20 AM
What if it doesn't pull plugs it's no better than a spike aerator, all these things
are doing is further compacting the soil, complete waste of time and effort.

There's no re-inventing the wheel with this, if you're using inferior products then no matter
how many different inferior products you try you will continue to see inferior results, this
type of trial and error here is a vain and fruitless search that will yield little except maybe
the occasional "yeah I THINK it's better"

Now if you want better results try a Walk-behind core aerator,
and that will work you but at least you'll know the reason.

I've seen these monsters in action before, topsites.
As long as the currrent local soil moisture situation is carefully taken into consideration before going forth with the operation, the sum of the "positives" usually FAR outweighs the sum of the "negatives".

This can be also be an excellent tool for helping to introduce additional soil amendments such as calcite clay, course sand, finished compost, worm castings, etc...

brookviewlawncare
10-28-2008, 08:15 PM
What if it doesn't pull plugs it's no better than a spike aerator, all these things
are doing is further compacting the soil, complete waste of time and effort.

There's no re-inventing the wheel with this, if you're using inferior products then no matter
how many different inferior products you try you will continue to see inferior results, this
type of trial and error here is a vain and fruitless search that will yield little except maybe
the occasional "yeah I THINK it's better"

Now if you want better results try a Walk-behind core aerator,
and that will work you but at least you'll know the reason.

Most deep tine aerator also fracture horizontally on the up swing of the tine !! One of our verti drain units will spike up to 16 " and we have coring tines as big as 1.25 x 12" try that compaction relief with your Walk behind unit

unit40
11-06-2008, 07:42 AM
We core aerate, drag, and overseed our heavily used soccer fields several times in the spring and fall. Then every fall near the end of the season we run our verti-drain with 3/4" spikes across the entire fields. Set it to maximum kick and it works the balls! We mark all of our irrigation heads, lines and valve boxes ahead of time. If we hit one by accident....easy repair, no big deal. But what a difference with the drainage and the compaction. The verti-drain seems to lift the entire surface up a little as well as occasionally pulling up large boulders.

foreplease
11-06-2008, 08:31 AM
Can I ask what type of soil you have, unit40? And are your fields used for spring and fall seasons both? Boys play fall season here, girls play in spring. We are working toward having a program as intensive/aggressive as yours but are not there yet. Agree regarding irrigation marking.

unit40
11-06-2008, 01:47 PM
We tend to have sandy soils here in MA. Our soccer fields are used intensively spring throughout the fall....so much that we have to overlap fields using different colored paint. But the way our funds work, sports organizations pay to play and pay for materials and supplies. So we dump the seed out, plug and drag it in. Keeps a healthy seed bank constantly suppliying the place because the fields don't get rested and they take a beating. Forgot to mention that last week I tore through a 7 strand irrigation cable that was only buried 3 inches. Had to replace about 60 feet of it so we sod cut and hand dug the trench and spliced and buried to 12".

foreplease
11-06-2008, 10:43 PM
Sounds like you have them on a good program. It takes time to convince places to build up to that in my experience. Good for you. Too bad about the irrigation cable. I've been "the other guy" so many times that if I ever even think about doing something half-assed I try to think about the other guy.

steve18974
01-22-2009, 01:39 AM
From what i was advised it is good to alternate your depths so you do not create a layer of compaction over time .... However i found that cost of bringing in a contractor to do the deep tine was outside our budget .... it was over $7000 for 4 soccer fields 1 time ......

believe it or not we use a 48" tow behind core aerator loaded up with 300-500 lbs of steel plates depending on the soil conditions .(cost less that $200) We tow the unit behind out Gator and man does it pull plugs ..... we try to aerate as often as the schedule allows ..... which is getting harder every year as the teams seems to be playing year round now .... I prefer pulling plugs and dragging afterwards as the cores help to Cover any seed and fertilizers put down and fill in the smaler divots left on the field from play .

we use a 5ft wide infield drag weighted down on the trailing edge to break up the cores , which i find works best if you drag them as soon as possible (before the cores dry out and harden ....

as for the sprinklers .... we flag all the heads and NEVER TRY to cross the lines ..... in years past we just went across them , but i got tired of fixing the broken lines in you hit them .... we talked about getting a 6 ft wide unit soon to speed up the operation ....

EGL&L
01-22-2009, 09:00 AM
Used this Deep Tine machine as part of a program when I was a golf course super. Went deep coring every other fall, and 3.5" cores every spring and every other fall. While aerating can and will create a compacted hard pan, the deep tine shatters the noraml hard pan at 4", and although it can create the same pan at 12", I have never seen any negative results.
On severely compacted areas, where at first we couldn't even get the deep tine to work, we used the Floyd Mckay Drill and Fill. After 2 times with this unit, we could then use the deep tine, and saw significant changes in soil structure.

Bob

Marcos
01-22-2009, 03:42 PM
However i found that cost of bringing in a contractor to do the deep tine was outside our budget .... it was over $7000 for 4 soccer fields 1 time ......




$1750 per field for deep tine?
Holy monkey dude, I got some bridges down here in Cincy...

gdigman23
03-05-2009, 11:32 PM
At a turf perspective what advantages do you see with the deep tines pictured vs knives that you would use in the summer when you cant core?

foreplease
03-06-2009, 09:25 PM
At a turf perspective what advantages do you see with the deep tines pictured vs knives that you would use in the summer when you cant core?

Do you mean such as the Aerway "shattertine"? I can't tell you from personal experience. There was an Aerway unit being used on a football field late last summer at the same school where I was rebuilding a baseball field. I was interested in how it worked and watched it in use close up, but I didn't have any part in caring for the field it was used on or the results.

Here's what I think, though. It seemed to have a lot of value as a giant verti-cutter to slice stolons and stimulate filling in on bluegrass. It was being used on a sand capped field so I wouldn't think much shattering was happening or needed. It was a field that had been sodded last May. I think they were primarily trying to use it before broadcasting seed in wear areas. My opinion is that it was overused late in the season and may have contributed to how easily the turf tore in the final couple games.

Both machines leave the surface in excellent condition (roller). When I watch the deep-tine machine work, I can understand how the 8" depths are reached. The Aerway is not obvious to me; it looks like it could ride up or fail to penetrate. That's probably not the case. I can find the deep-tine holes several days later (found some today made last fall) which makes me believe water, air, and roots can too.

It would be interesting to see a comparison of the square inches of surface area opened up by the knives versus the tines. I bet it is close.

MaineFert
03-09-2009, 07:45 PM
We just got a Southern Green deep tine for our fields. I am looking forward to trying it out and seeing the results as a part of aeration topdressing process. We have typically used an Aeravator but I like the idea of going deeper into the soil profile, and adding compost can always help with microbial activity and disease tolerance.

The downfall that I immediately see is going 2-4 mph, but if you can charge accordingly it is a beneficial cultural practice.

Jim Allen
Nutrients PLUS

Company Man
04-03-2009, 03:56 PM
I have been using a Soil Reliever 75HD with both solid tines as well as coring tines for the last three years. One word of advice, I have found our irrigation lines are no longer at a uniform depth, sooo if you are deep tining run your aerator parallel to the lateral lines as to avoid any perforations of your system. When I core I do so 90 degrees to the solid tines.

Our fields see excessive use and I have found the deep tines to be beneficial in conjunction with a top dressing program.

TMarch
04-10-2009, 03:45 AM
I have a deep tine mechine, a greens coring unit, and a couple of different pull behinds and they all have their place. If your only aerifying once a year I would take steve18794 advice and spend your money on a decent pull behind with a lot of tines. Not a cheap ag fab but put $300-400 in a John Deere. It will go 2-3" deep, usually where most of your roots are anyway, and if you double up thats alot of holes. Pulling it behind a 4 wheeler or gator once a month will go a long way in turf health. If you do go with deep tining once a year don't spend over a penny and a half per square ft and put more tines in each block then that pic you have. They're spaced way too far apart for it to be worth it.

OSU 09
04-21-2009, 09:39 AM
We have used deep tine areation on a few fields and it has worked well for us. We recently had a football practice field that had some drainage/compaction issues, so for it we went with the drill and fill process. It is a very slow process, but very effective.

MAJBROWN88
04-28-2009, 02:05 PM
Dear Foreplease,
I was impressed with the amt of time and research placed into your decision. I was hoping that you could supply me with the contact information of the business that performed the demonstration. I would greatly appreciate the information.

foreplease
04-28-2009, 11:10 PM
Dear Foreplease,
I was impressed with the amt of time and research placed into your decision. I was hoping that you could supply me with the contact information of the business that performed the demonstration. I would greatly appreciate the information.

Thanks MAJORBROWN88. I used Davey Golf Course Maintenance in Auburn, MI. I just looked at their web site (http://www.davey.com/cms/davey_tree/042933754eb8e4b4/index.html)which lists a Kent, OH office you might find more convenient. I now understand there is another good company closer to me, but Davey went out of their way to help me out initially and I have no reason to change. Quite the opposite, I hope I can come up with enough work to keep them interested in working with me.

TMarch: we paid a lot less than 1 1/2 cents/square foot. The hole spacing was 6" x 7". Everybody's budgets are off this year but we're going to try to core deep on the soil fields and probably continue deep tining on sand.

MAJBROWN88
04-29-2009, 01:04 PM
Foreplease,
Care to give me the name of the other company as well? I would really appreciate it.

MAJBROWN88
04-29-2009, 03:44 PM
Dear Green World brothers and sisters,
I am trying to locate all deep tine aerating businesses throughout OH, KY, and IN. I would appreciate any business contact information. For the record, I am trying to drum up some tine business. I will gladly send anyone a Toro hat for their assistance. Thanks

foreplease
04-29-2009, 07:16 PM
The other company is Turf Services (http://www.turfservicesinc.com/Aerification.htm)of Spring Lake, MI. Although I have never met or spoken with them, someone I think very highly of has told me great things about them. There is good information on their web site.

It was kind of a crazy accident that my path and Davey Golf's crossed when they did. That said, they were so prompt and accommodating that I have not felt any reason to contact anyone else. It's not as if I have an occasion to provide this service every week or even every month. Trying to do some every season.

If the Davey demo had not happened as it did, I probably would have contacted Turf Services and been quite happy with them.