Terrain Aeration have added a new Super Scamper Terralift machine to their fleet for deep penetration aeration. Originally a German invention used to aerate around tree roots with a blast of compressed air, the Terralift concept has been in service with Terrain Aeration for over twenty-five years. During this time, Terrain Aeration have treated all kinds of turf surface for waterlogging, compaction and panning, from sports fields, golf courses and bowling greens to treating trees in London parks, green spaces and the gardens of new house builds.
The new Terralift machine, built by Terrain Aeration, takes the concept to a new level of treatment for waterlogging. The machine hammers a hollow probe one metre into the soil (with the help of a JCB road breaker gun).
Once reaching this depth, a blast of compressed air is released to fracture and fissure the soil. On the tail end of the air blast, dried milled seaweed is incorporated and this, over a period of time, expands and contracts with the moisture content in the soil, similar to ‘breathing’ underground, which helps to keep the fractures open longer. The probe is removed and the process repeated using two-metre centre spacings on a staggered grid pattern.
This grid ensures that each probe shot links with the previous ones. The probe hole is then backfilled with an aggregate to provide a long term aeration/ventilation shaft, allowing air and water to percolate into the fissures. The top 1″ – 2″ should have a cap of normal top dressing to encourage the grass to grow over the holes.
The result is an improved healthier root system, a healthier sward as well as less disease damage to the turf. There is no mess, treatment can in fact be carried out mid season, should a green for example be too waterlogged to play, but otherwise pre or end of season is the best time. Despite people’s ‘fears’ that the Terralift ‘makes the Earth Move’ – it does, but just enough to show that the ground has been fractured from one metre depth back up to the surface.
The slight ‘heave’ will settle down and you are left with a smooth playing surface. Prior to Terralift treatment it is best to have the area spiked or hollow tined purely to relieve the surface tension to allow air to gently blow through the top surface without causing any disruption. The Super Scamper Terralift is a compact design which enables it to fit through narrow gaps for access to bowling greens and gardens. The machine is equally effective in treating open landscape areas, as seen here in its first outing at the National Trust’s Stourhead estate.