GroundsCare Products inform us on profitable soil preparation
Accredited Supplier GroundsCare Products inform us on profitable soil preparation below.
When preparing soil for turf, grass seed or wild flowers, what’s the best piece of equipment to use?
A Rotavator will churn up the ground, bringing stones and debris to the top, leaving four of five inches of lumpy, soft soil that will need to be re-consolidated and top-raked in order to achieve a firm, stone-free surface. No matter what compaction method you use, the sub-soil will rarely be as firm as it was previously. Consequently, it is liable to slump when the first serious fall of rain comes along, and the client will expect the contractor to return to site to rectify the problem.
The alternative is to use a Surface Preparation Rake. They are usually twice the working width of a Rotavator and capable of a much faster working speed. The machine tills only the top layer, so doesn’t disturb the sub-soil.
First you angle the deck left or right to work the stones into windrows for easy collection and disposal. Whilst doing this, the Rake is already starting to produce a fine tilth and grade the site. Next, pivot the head straight and drive it across the area in two or three directions in order to complete the job. You now have a level, rough-raked site ready to accept turf. If you are seeding, you just need to touch in the wheel marks with a hand rake. It tills only the top layer (max 25mm), and the soil is immediately ready for use. You don't have to re-consolidate the ground, as you would if you used a rotavator.
This type of machine also facilitates repair of an existing lawn without lifting the turf. First, cut the grass; then, run the rake over the surface to work up a fine tilth prior to spreading some good quality grass seed.
Some Power Rakes can also be used for heavy scarification or breaking up gravelled areas, gravel paths, golf buggy paths and similar surfaces prior to re-levelling.
To find out more, visit the GroundsCare Products website.