Richie Slitter. (Grassland aereator)
Started by Peter Wells
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 30 total)
Wednesday 5 October 2011 at 13:29
Just taken delivery of a new slitter from Richies. Too dry to do anything yet but has anyone any tips on whether it can help when liming or much spreading. The tines/blades can be angled up to 10 degrees and so will have a bit of a decompaction potential.
Wednesday 5 October 2011 at 14:24
I don’t know anyone who has tried one and not been pleased with it. My view (on clay) is that as long as you can load the weight on it and get it to penetrate, it’s never too dry!0
Wednesday 5 October 2011 at 18:28
Same experience as bovril really. All who buy one have noticed the difference. Usually use it in the sutumn. (Tend not to get the dry issue down here though). As for the lime and muck spreader, would go over after they’d been through to try and lift their compaction out.
Thursday 6 October 2011 at 00:09
Is it ever too wet to use one? apart from the obvious time when u struggle to get on the land that is? Someone round me hires one out n I was going to get it then it rained quite heavily so I didn’t in the end.
Thursday 6 October 2011 at 08:23
I’ve had one for a year but it’s been too dry all year. You can’t really see the difference in results, you need to measure it. We went to an EBLEX day recently where they had slit one side of an electric fence and not the other. You could see the difference in the soil. The aerated side was much less compacted and root development was much better, more worms etc etc. Whether it works depends on where your compaction is. If compaction is on the surface, which it might be with animals on clay (like us), then it should work. But if the compaction is deeper, then you’ll make matters worse using the aerator because it’ll not be doing the job you want and you’re driving over the land again. PS we bought the water tanks as well.
Monday 28 May 2012 at 21:18
Hows your land look now Peter? I just used one today on 20 acres so hope it is successful!
Tuesday 29 May 2012 at 14:50
Funnily enough I was only looking at one field last evening that had been half done to show a difference, if there was one.
I am happy to say that the half that was slit at about 5 degrees of angle is about 6′ of grass as opposed to 4′ on the half that was not done. I reckon the density is better also. (I am now persuaded of the benefit of slitting/aeration)
For weight I used a railway sleeper and 100kg of tractor weights.
Finished shearing this morning and so will now merely potter around for the rest of the day and evening.
Tuesday 29 May 2012 at 17:49
Peter. I have never used one but I had wondered if it would be feasible to broadcast grass seed after using this machine to rejuvenate worn out pony paddocks without ploughing them out. What do you think??
Tuesday 29 May 2012 at 20:49
wondered if it would be feasible to broadcast grass seed after using this machine to rejuvenate worn out pony paddocks without ploughing them out
I think yes. with the obvious thoughts about weather. I think if you spiked with an angle to get some lift and them broadcast grass with a light roller behind, you would get good results on pony paddocks which, I guess are fairly firm and flat?
Stuart Meikle will also have some comments on this as he spoke to me shortly after my first posting with some very good ideas he had had.
Wednesday 30 May 2012 at 08:18
Thanks Peter, I will try this at September.
Wednesday 30 May 2012 at 13:08
Dick just another thought. Given that the paddocks are quite small, and if they have bare patches you may want to rough up the ground with a chain harrow a bit prior to spiking it. What do you think?
Wednesday 30 May 2012 at 15:47
Peter, an interesting point about chain harrowing in front. I just had a chat with our local grass seeds supplier and they seemed concerned that broadcast seeding behind the aerator alone would not get the seeds sub-surface. I am trying to explain that the key task is breaking up the top 10cm (which we know is a massive problem here), adding some seeds is secondary. The alternative is a slit-seed operation (I have used a Vredo here) but that is very pressure focused and to my mind does nothing about the compaction other than making it worse. I used a Vredo for three years here and came to the conclusion we wanted a different solution. When it stops raining we will try the aerator-seeder combination with a roller on the back to consolidate the seed and soil together. A good-chain harrowing ahead as you say may actually make the soil conditions better re. soil-seed contact.
As an aside, we have a nice Fiona cereal seed drill here which we can mount behind the aerator as well – Ritchies made up a very nice 3-point linkage for the grass seeder – it may make a combination – seeder for cereals on small areas – I think the Canadian company Aerway do something similar with a double row of aerator tines. It is all about making a little investment go a long way.
Wednesday 30 May 2012 at 15:54
Dick, this is what Peter mentioned:
I plan to put a fixed draw-bar under the seeder next to tow a roller to give some consolidatation around the seeds, but not so much as to negate the aeration.
I think we will try Peter’s idea to chain harrow in front. I was thinking of integrating a chain harrow into the whole but it makes more sense to do what Peter says as I am trying to integrate tools together which can also be used independently (ie a 2.5m aerator, a 2.5m seeder, a 2.5m roll) but a 2.5m chain harrow is a little too narrow for independent use, at least here where we are looking at more than a handful of acres.
Wednesday 30 May 2012 at 18:24
The after harrow shown in the above link use what we call Reekie tines and are ideal for shallow work. If you are making your own frames 2, or even 3 rows (75mm spacing) will give good results before and or after broadcasting. Good forward speed also helps.
Don’t think you have to cover grass seed, as long as it makes contact with good topsoil?
Soil fertility will also make a difference, so a few bags of P & K might be worth considering
Wednesday 30 May 2012 at 21:50
As a farmer who has moved into sports pitch and golf course work l have read this string with interest.
Farming is catching up with the amenity industry!!
Aeration is one of the key features of good grass growth, together with fertility and pH.
On sports pitchs and golf courses we use slitters, spikers and power operated bladed machines to creat the air voids needed in the soil profile to help good root growth.
ln the past we have used drop seeders to overseed, but have found that too much seed did not germinate as it does need a bit of soil cover.
On large areas we now use tined seeders, an Opico with a pneumatic seeder and an Amazone with power operated tines and a drop seeder behind, they both work well if you can creat a small amount of tilth.
The problem with all these machines is they do not place the seed into the soil, the only way you can really ensure a good germination.
This week we are trying a disc drill on 40mm spacings to overseed greens and teeing areas on a golf course.
This machine should put the seed about 5mm into the ground, be interesting to see how it performs.
Both industry’s are after much the same result, improved growth, better resistance to drought and wear, and the requirement to improve the grass species present in the sward,
We can learn from each other!
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 30 total)