Cultivation equipment is a group of tools you need for turf cultivation. Routine aeration is a necessary golf course maintenance practice that is executed due to a number of reasons. The most common factors making aeration an absolute necessity include reducing soil compaction, managing accumulation of thatch and organic matter, promoting gas exchange, improving water infiltration, and promoting the growth of roots. To ensure healthy putting surfaces and healthy turf, you need to understand that it is a crucial practice and you need the right tool. Most importantly, whether it is a new one or used turf equipment, your aerator must be in the best shape.
Following are the different types aerators you can use to aerate:
- Walk-behind Aerators
- Tractor-Mounted Aerators
This golf course equipment comes in many sizes and forms. Similarly, tines you are going to fit to your aerator also come in different forms and sizes. When it comes to tine spacing, tine options, the ground speed of operation and aeration depth, modern walk-behind aerators provide you with tremendous flexibility.
In addition to putting greens, walking aerators are used on approaches, collars and tees as well. As modern aerators provide you with more adjustment possibilities, check all the adjustments if you are buying used turf equipment. It is because older models could achieve hole spacing of only 2 or 4 inches. Modern models allow you to achieve a hole spacing of 1 inch. The tines can either be knife-like or cylindrical. Tines come in different shapes and sizes. So, you can easily change tines according to your needs.
Hollow tines are used to remove and bring a soil code to the surface. This allows effective core aeration to remove thatch, organic matter and soil from the root zone of the putting surface. This also relieves soil compaction.
On the other hand, solid tines create holes without removing any organic matter or soil. This encourages air and gas exchange and water infiltration at the turf plants’ root zone. Also referred to as pencil tines or needle tines, small solid tines are put to use when the weather is scorching hot and venting greens need some relief. Because of being small enough, the solid tine holes do not affect the ball roll on a green. It is a minimally invasive procedure. Golfers might not even notice it. Aeration is an important part of golf course maintenance and you have to perform it on a regular basis.
Tractor Mounted Aerators
These are large tractor-mounted aerators for large areas of turf such as roughs and fairways. As these units come with many hole spacing options, they are used more as compared to walk-behind aerators. If you are still using an old drum-type unit, it’s time to replace it with a tractor-mounted aerator which is more efficient and effective in improving the conditions of the soil. This is what you need to improve turf performance and playing conditions.
Several other types of aerators are also made available to golf courses. You can find aerators utilizing hire-pressure injection with sand or water. Aerators used to create deep (nearly a foot) and large holes use spinning drill bits. Units with vertically rotating blades are used to cut vertical slits.
However, these aerators cannot replace conventional aerators. They are for complimenting only. Not all facilities invest in these specialist units. These units are usually leased.
Vertical Mowing Units
Verticutting or vertical mowing is a maintenance practice in which organic thatch building is removed from the surface. This is done safely without interrupting the surface. A vertical mowing unit consists of tightly spaced rotating blades cutting into the turf vertically.
So, these are the cultivation equipment you need in your facility. If your budget does not allow you to invest in new cultivation equipment, you can buy used turf equipment. Just make sure that it is in the best shape.