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Deep-Tine Aerification

Discussion in 'Sports Field Management' started by foreplease, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. unit40

    unit40 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    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".
  2. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,056

    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.
  3. steve18974

    steve18974 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    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 ....
  4. EGL&L

    EGL&L LawnSite Member
    Messages: 127

    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.

  5. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    $1750 per field for deep tine?
    Holy monkey dude, I got some bridges down here in Cincy...
  6. gdigman23

    gdigman23 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    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?
  7. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,056

    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.
  8. MaineFert

    MaineFert LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 115

    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
  9. Company Man

    Company Man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    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.
  10. TMarch

    TMarch LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    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.

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