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How to improve aeration and soil porosity

13 Nov 2012

How to improve aeration and soil porosity

What can be done to further help the traditional techniques of increasing the above?

Aeration = Refers to the extent of air gaps in soil.

Soil Porosity = The volume percentage of pore spaces in a lump of soil that is not occupied.


How do we traditionally look to achieve the above highlighted??

Contemporary wisdom tells us that the only forms of aeration on playing surfaces that are available to us are in the form of mechanical means.

For example:-

  • Spiking
  • Verti-draining
  • Scarifing

Whilst this is definitely part of the equation for keeping the soil in a state which is suitable for producing a sporting surface in today's demanding and competitive market. We can greatly enhance the benefit of the mechanical aeration by creating a healthier soil profile. Whether your surface is soft or hard and compacted, ROCASTEM should always be the first port of call.

Rocastem works by opening up the soil structure over the whole surface allowing the soil to breath. This allows the moisture that is so often trapped in the top surface like a sponge to escape through drainage and evaporation. By creating a more porous soil structure, we give the indigenous microbes the help through the foods that are incorporated in rocastem the chance to flourish and do their job in recycling organic matter.

Rocastem can be used all year round to help ease the pressure which the sward is placed under, with the warmer wetter summers which seem to be increasing. Any way we can of help to reduce suspended moisture allowing for firmer drier playing surfaces should always be given serious consideration. When used in conjunction with traditional forms of aeration silts and fines which cause porosity issues are allowed to drift down though the soil structure opening microscopic pathways for root systems to colonize.

When used in a programmed approach there are long term residual benefits in using rocastem. By maintaining a more harmonious soil/air balance we allow the soil to not only breathe, but also stay warmer going into winter keeping a desirable playing surface for longer. This has a knock on effect in the spring giving the grass sward the best chance of a head start when surfaces are normally at their most trying.

Rocastem can be used in tandem with T-thatch to greatly reduce the organic matter that builds up throughout the growing season and directly attack the disease pool reducing disease pressure on the plant.

With the current tendency of using a great deal of iron on the playing surface for either colour or turf hardening  another partnership that Rocastem can be very beneficial with is Black Spot. Used together, heavy metals such as iron, aluminium, copper etc, which block soil porosity, can be flushed more expediently through the soil profile.

Benefits of Rocastem:-

  • Opens up the soil structure to let the soil breathe
  • Creates a more porous soil structure
  • Maintains a more harmonious soil/air balance
  • Greens stay warmer going into winter keeping a desirable playing surface for longer
  • Allows greens to get a head start in the Spring

Benefits of T-Thatch:-

  • Use to greatly reduce the organic matter that builds up throughout the growing season
  • Minimise disease harbour beneath the surface
  • Re-establish nutrient and water flow to the rootzone

Benefits of Black Spot:-

  • Cleans-up Chemical residues such as iron, aluminium, copper etc
  • Rebuilds the microbial soil count following pesticide applications or oil spill


Rocastem - More details

T-Thatch - More details

Black Spot - More details