I traveled to Finland on Saturday and met up with Lee Morgado and David Stonier, two of Campey's employees. They had just driven from Sweden and taken a ferry over to Finland with all of Campey's equipment on a truck for the renovation and demo days.
After a weekend doing a bit of sightseeing around Helsinki, we got started on Sunday with a Koro pitch renovation at a local community pitch which has had problems with drainage and winterkill.
When we dug into the pitch with a spade, we could see why. About 10 centimeters of hard soil ran into a black layer, followed by some good quality sandy soil. The groundsman said that they usually aerate using 15cm tines, but they would only go down to 10cm because the soil was so hard. That is where the black layer came from. Air must be introduced below that black layer and the good sandy soil below must be brought to the top.
It is dangerous for groundskeepers to keep thinking that things can be done the way they have always been done. The Koro method is a somewhat new way of doing things in the turf industry, but it has been proven to work. With big clubs using it (Real Madrid and Manchester United) to other less known ones (Malmö F.C in Sweden), Koro renovations have received outstanding reviews from groundskeepers and managers all around.
First, we used the Koro Field Top Maker (FTM) fitted with a Terraplane rotor to take off approximately the top 1 inch of turf. This also eliminates any thatch, as well as a majority of Poa annua. The first three photos below show the FLM in action, and the amount of material taken off.
Next, we brushed off the pitch with an Imants Rotosweep. This got rid of any lingering dirt and debris. We then topdressed with sand using a Raycam Speedresser seen below. We used enough sand to replace what we took off with the FTM.
After speedressing, it was time to use the Koro Recycling Dresser. This machine tills down to about 20cm and brings up all the good material and mixes it in with the soil on top as well as the sand from topdressing. Then, the pitch is raked/dragged with a Raycam Sportsfield Harrow.
We left a part of the pitch undone for a demo day tomorrow.
About 50-60 groundsmen from around Helsinki are expected to come and see the Koro and all the other machines in action.