Winter Spiking & Aeration – Cricket Squares – Summary & Links
Square Spiking Guide for Club Groundsmen:
· Why Spike?
- What does your profile look like? Do you have root breaks, shallow rooting, thatch or high levels of organic matter?
- Winter is the time to address sub-soil structural issues
- To allow Water & Air to penetrate the profile to depth
- To create pathways for root growth over the winter – increasing root volume and depth
- Additional Benefit – allows water to penetrate the profile rather than pool on the surface
- Does it de-compact the profile? – done correctly – No!? Bulk density remains the same.
- Surface Rutting in poor conditions
- “Picking or Lifting” of the surface if insufficient moisture or root-breaks – Take a sample!!! “Picking” is particularly likely in repaired areas (foothoes and follow through)
- Spiking too late and leaving open holes or fracture points / fault lines · Method · Vertical plunge aeration such as Groundsman aerator or similar · Target Depth – 4 inches over time
- Timing & Frequency
- Once grasses have established following EOS – after first cut
- Gradually diminishing returns after first spiking – ideally monthly Nov, Dec & Jan
- Generally, more holes = more roots = more binding = more bounce
- Moisture to depth
- Not “soft” on surface – so that wheels on machine do not create ruts
- Gradually increase depth of spiking as water penetrates profile
- When spiking it may be worth considering: –
- Hollow tining ends to remove saddles
- Applying Root Stimulants direct to root