Profitable soil preparation with the Turf Teq Power Rake
Accredited Supplier Groundscare Products shares the best equipment to use when preparing soil for turf, grass seed or wildflowers.
A rotavator will churn up the ground, bringing stones, debris and dormant weeds to the top, leaving four of five inches of lumpy, soft soil that will need to be re-consolidated and top-raked to achieve a firm, stone-free surface. No matter what compaction method is used, the job will be time-consuming and 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 the site to rectify the problem.
The profitable alternative is to use the Turf Teq Power Rake. It has twice the working width of a rotavator and is capable of a much faster working speed. The machine tills only the top layer, so does not disturb the sub-soil.
First, angle the rake box left or right to work the stones and debris into windrows for easy collection and disposal. Whilst doing this, the Rake is already starting to grade the site and produce a fine tilth. Next, pivot the head straight and drive it across the area in two or three directions to complete the job. Because the machine tills only the top layer (max 25mm), the soil is immediately ready for use. You don't have to re-consolidate it as you would if you used a rotavator.
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.
This 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.
The Turf Teq Power Rake can be used to spread topsoil evenly; also, for breaking up compacted gravelled areas or paths and similar surfaces prior to re- levelling.
Manufactured in USA, the Turf Teq machine has hydrostatic drive, hardened steel rotor teeth with tungsten tips, diff lock, simple controls and a Honda GXV390 petrol engine.
Landscape gardener Will Cole recently wrote the following review:
"I recently had the chance to use one of these machines for a lawn renovation job and although it's an expensive piece of kit to either buy or hire, the considerable savings in time far outweigh the costs."
The lawn in question was beyond help. It was cut down to the lowest setting possible with the lawn mower and cuttings removed. We then got the preparation rake into action, setting up the machine at an angle. After several passes up and down, the bumps and troughs had been taken out of the lawn and the thatch, roots and stones were lined up ready for easy collection. This done, we then reset the machine into the straight position and passed over the ground once more producing a fine tilth. With a little straightening out with a landscape rake, it was ready for seeding.
"I would definitely use this machine again. It does a better job than a rotavator, and as it only disturbs the top half inch or so of the soil, you do not have the worry of sinkeage to a new lawn".