We have just returned from a mini tour of a few Devon and Dorset bowling clubs who were in dire need of our services, because the soil structure of their playing surface had become compacted, meaning that the extra rainwater could not drain away.
Terrain Aeration services had been recommended to Braunton Bowling Club, South Molton Bowling Club and Plymstock Bowling Club because of our ability to work at depths of one metre; substantially below the normal depths that conventional spiking or aerations systems can work.
Systematic maintenance procedures by club greenkeepers and club volunteers tend to create a pan at the maximum depth that their club equipment can work to and once in a while this pan needs to be shattered to allow oxygen, which is vital for grass roots, right through the root growing zone.
Improved gaseous exchange stimulates stronger root growth, as well as stopping anaerobic activity. Healthier roots give a healthier sward and fewer chemicals are required as disease resistance is improved.
There is a misconception, that because we are injecting a blast of compressed air that is designed to fracture the hardest of soil compaction, there there is a certain uncontrollable explosion that occurs beneath the turf surface.
However, with our purpose built Scamper Terralift machines, our operators have the finest of controllability at their fingertips.
Air pressure is constantly monitored and adjusted to suit the underlying conditions and, of the three Devon and Dorset greens that were treated, air pressure varied between 9 and 15 bar - in other words, we quickly establish was is the right level of delivery needed to get beneficial results.
Our goal is to ensure that there is just a slight disturbance on the top surface of the green, which indicates to our operators that we have achieved soil de compaction and disturbance from the injection depth of one metre, right up to surface levels.
It is important to use enough air pressure to inject the dried milled seaweed, which is vital to the deep aeration process, but not enough to cause major disruption to the green surface.
Once the seaweed is injected, it adheres to the walls of the fractures and fissures created by the main air blast, eventually swelling and contracting as it reacts to the moisture content in the soil, which in-turn helps to keep the fractures open longer.
Greenkeepers who are delayed from accessing the green surface due to standing water not draining away prior to the Airforce Terralift treatment have reported that surface water drainage through the subsoil has improved dramatically since the deep root treatment.
Waddeson Bowling Club in Aylesbury does not have the luxury of an underground drainage system despite being constructed on heavy clay and in the words of the greenkeeper 'only fit to make bricks'.
The clay sub soil means that the bowling green has been out of commission several times this year due to waterlogging so our Scamper Terralift was brought in to open up drainage channels to help alleviate the problem.
Merthyr West End Bowling Club is the biggest open Bowls Club in the UK was suffering in early September from waterlogging over eighty percent of the green.The green had been deep drilled a few years ago, but the benefits had now been lost resulting in a return of waterlogging.
This had been a very wet summer resulting in a loss of revenue at Merthyr West End club.
Because we were already in the Merthyr Tydfil area working in rear gardens as an after sales service for Redrow Homes, we were able to utilise our Remote Terralift machine to carry out the treatment to the Merthyr West End Bowling Club.
Bowling clubs are constantly under pressure to maximise the return in terms of playing opportunities and understand the need to minimise downtime when the green is unavailable for play.
By employing the Terralift treatment to the green we are empowering the clubs with the opportunity to extend play, which in turn leads to greater revenue within the clubs social facilities.
Maintenance on bowling greens can continue throughout the winter (subject to ground conditions) which ensures that the facility is is in good condition at the very start of the new season.
We have already experienced a sharp rise in winter maintenance bookings from bowling clubs who want are looking to have the treatment done so that the green can recover in time for the new season.
The probe we use is only 37mm in diameter, reaching a maximum depth of one metre. The holes are backfilled with Lytag and top dressed on the day they are made and healing begins immediately.
Treatment is carried out using two-metre centre spacings on a staggered grid pattern. Each shot connects with the previous one underground produces very effective results.
The bowling club’s normal routine top surface aeration treatment will maintain a link down to the deep aeration fractures and fissures caused by the Airforce Terralift machine thus sustaining the air and water access to the deep subsoil and this is why the process remains effective for years.
For more information and pricing, please email Lynda Green