Sportsfield Management


What is Aeration?

The key to understanding how to deal with a problematic pitch comes first in understanding the way a pitch and its drainage and structure works. Turfworks  understands what it takes to grow healthy grass and how to help it grow effectively.

One main aspect of this is air in the soil, or lack of it in cases of poor growth and structure. Our range of aeration and drainage machinery can help to alleviate growth issues by allowing air into the root system.

The term aeration is much overused in the grounds care industry, and the practice of aerating a pitch is not for the amateur as more damage can be done than good if carried out at the wrong time or in the wrong conditions.

We know which machine suits which situation and understand that one machine does not fix all problems. Lawn aeration is not merely making a hole in the soil and assuming that this will aerate effectively.

Aeration can be carried out using a variety of methods. The “verti-drain” machine that we use uses tines to penetrate the soil which are either solid or hollow, depending on the soil conditions, time of year and desired effect.

The “verti-drain” is designed to de-compact soil on sports pitches once or twice per year only. Equally spaced holes of 25mm diameter and up to 300mm deep provide a surface pan shatter, allowing water and air to disperse to the grass roots a lot easier.

Hollow tining is the practice of sinking a hollow steel tine into your grass surface and removing the plug of grass and soil.

This will then be deposited temporarily on the surface. This is then removed and  topdressing is spread and worked in.

The aim of this is to aerate your lawn, allowing air down to your grass roots. It also reduces any compaction your lawn has sustained.

You should be aiming to get down at least 3” and preferably 4” or 5” although you will require a machine to achieve those depths.


• Improves and helps maintain a better playing surface

• Improves and helps promote good soil structure

• Promotes quicker drying of turf

• Better absorption of water from the surface to the drainage system helping prevent surface water problems


Verti draining can alleviate problems that sport pitches face such as compacted surfaces after long periods of continuous use or mud interfering with the draining system.





Deep Drill

This is called the deep drill, a machine which is imported from the USA, a very, very specific machine.

We utilise it mainly on our cricket pitches.  It’s got drills of 25 mm thickness.  Also specific drill bits that go into the bully and we drill out – in other words we’ve got a bully exchange program – a soil exchange program.

This goes down as deep as we want to, about 300 mm, sometimes less, and we take out the old bully.

Bully is the clay which is used on the cricket pitch.  It’s a specific makeup that’s very specific to a cricket pitch.

It binds and it gives you that hard, hard surface that you want, and also the grass can grow in it and bind it all together.  What happens is, with the cricket pitch, it becomes root bound.

A lot of organic matter gets left behind, so it’s part of the bio-cycle, which, if it becomes too much you can’t compact it – it’s like jumping on an old koir mattress – as hard as you try, you cannot compact that.

So we take out that old root stock and we interfere with the biocycle down there, we put down fresh bully.  So every year, and over a period of, say, 5 years, we’ve got a completely new pitch, which is much better, and it gives you all sorts of benefits.

The pitch will recover from this and in 3-4 weeks time it’s ready for the next season.

It’s in bags -  we put it on and we work it in with flutes –  flat squeegies, root squeegies – from the bully farm. 

They dry it and they crush it and it comes in bags.

Once we’ve been through, we clear off all the old bully and then we empty the new bully on the top, and then work it in with flutes or your squeegie. 

In effect you’ve got a stapling effect which keeps all your platelets together, and you’re introducing fresh bully.





The Field TopMaker (or FTM) can be used in a number of ways to level, clean, de-thatch, and renovate turf areas, as well as the harvesting of sprigs.

It is ideal for use on soccer fields, golf courses, polo fields, municipal grass areas and sod farms.

The Field Top Maker consists of a series of blades which can be adjusted from 5 cm above the surface to 5 cm below the surface. The cut material can be deflected back on to the surface, or transferred by built-in conveyors direct into trailers for removal off site.

The machine has a high working capacdy and fine adjustment is possible. A typical soccer field can be leveled and cleaned in one or two days.

  • By the mowing action of the machine, weeds and tall grass leafs can be mowed and loaded up in a trailer.
  • Levelling of "bumps" on soccer fields, polo fields, golf courses and other sports grounds.
  • By adjusting the machine accurately we can remove weeds, thatch layers or a complete surface. Fields can also be brought back to a perfect smoothness and be back into play after 6 to 8 weeks time with a completely new playing surface.
    The advantages are that water draining ability, soil life and stability will not be disturbed. Another option is to lay rolls of turf or to plant plugs after stripping the surface.
  • By performing a complete renovation we can pulverize the top layer. Or by fraising on low depth we have a low movement of soil and high capacity. The pulverized soil can be left on the field. Deep scarrfying is achieved with the scardying rotor - up to 5 cm deep and removing all material onto the conveyors.


Heavy-duty fraise mower for surface restoration
of sports pitches & golf courses

The Koro Field TopMaker 2000 is a heavy-duty fraise mower, for removing unwanted surface matter such as poa annua, thatch, weeds or the entire surface to a depth of 50mm. It has a side arm conveyor to remove debris directly into a trailer or truckster. The Koro Field TopMaker 2000 is designed for sports turf applications like football & rugby pitches golf fairways, turf farms, etc. Verticut blades allow the Koro Field Topmaker to be used as a heavy-duty scarifier

The Verticut 1200 is a heavy-duty scarifier/collector for removing unwanted surface matter such as thatch, weeds, broad leaved and surface rooting grasses and light linear aeration. Its heavy-duty tungsten-tipped blades are set at 34mm spacings and throw the material directly into the hopper. The Verticut 1200 is designed for fine turf applications such as golf greens
and tees, tennis courts and bowling greens.

Also available is the Verticut rotor for deep scarifying. The distance between the blades is 4 cm and the working depth can be up to 5 cm if the turf root system allows it.