STAGE 6: REVIEW AND EVALUATION (IS IT WORKING?)

This final stage is extremely important because it looks at whether the aeration treatment has worked.  This step is so often missed when conducting aeration in cricket because the effects of the treatment are below ground and not always reflected in pitch performance scores or the colour of the grass.

Reviewing and evaluating treatment effectiveness

Having spent time and money on an aeration treatment it is important to review whether or not it has worked.  To do this it is essential to look at the soil profile in the same way as in Stage 2.  It will be necessary to take a number of cores as it is important to look at what is going on down any drill or solid tine holes and these might be difficult to identify.

It is important to allow long enough for the treatment to take effect and for this reason it is suggested that cores are reviewed at the beginning and end of the season following treatment.  This is because processes such as root growth or the breaking down of layers take time.  It might also be that the treatments need to be repeated over two seasons before an effect is seen.

If no effect is observed following two seasons of treatment then you must question whether the aeration treatment is effective.  Don’t be surprised if it is not – consistently effective treatments were not found in the Cranfield University research.  It might be that the treatment needs to be changed or a more effective machine of the same type identified.  Aeration treatments can be effective but they are costly in terms of machinery, wearing parts, fuel and time – if they are not working then they might not be necessary, it could be that natural soil shrink and swell is as effective.  It might also be that a more disruptive treatment is required, such as surface planing rather than solid tine aeration, or even surface reconstruction.  If you are in doubt as how to proceed, speak to your County Pitch Advisor.

This is the last stage in the Six-Stage process.  You can return to the Introduction to review the stages.

Back: Stage 5 – The Aeration Treatment – Method And Timing

Return to the Introduction