There are many reasons to top dress, it all depends on the individual circumstances of the soil make up and type of grass – to name just two variants.  The general results, though, are to cover freshly sown seed to allow it to make contact with soil and provide insulation to maximise germination rates, or to stimulate new root and shoot growth to make for an improved existing sward. Applications of top dressings help to produce firm fast surfaces and also assist in the breaking down of any thatch.  Firm fast greens will require regular top dressings to provide the necessary resilience.

The Redexim Rink range from Charterhouse Turf Machinery includes both broadcast topdressers, that use spinning discs, to models that ‘drop’ the material – all of which come with a variety of spreading widths and a range of sizes. One broadcast model worth particular note in the Rink DS800, which is available in both trailed and mounted formats. The DS800 Top dresser is a compact unit at 2.40 metres long with a 0.8 cubic metre hopper capacity with the benefit of a hydraulic rear door as standard – the shallow configuration of the hopper preventing material ‘bridging’ or sticking.  It can offer a spreading width of up to 12m and thickness of up to 15mm.  It can be used for spreading small-grained, loose material, such as sand, small granular material or similar products.  It is suitable for use behind either a 30hp compact tractor, mounted on a John Deere Progator or Toro Workman truck and has a working speed up to 19mph.

Over at Stornoway Golf Club on the Isle of Lewis, they’ve recently invested in a Rink DS800 to mount on their John Deere Progator, as well as a Redexim Speed Seed. “We’d seen the Rink model in action at other clubs and, although we did look at other mountable topdressers, this one fit the bill” explains Head Greenkeeper Alasdair Macleod. “Until these purchases, seeding and topdressing was done manually which was a timely exercise with just myself and one other on my team. The Rink is easy to use and more importantly we can now cover all the greens and get the job done with just two passes. Having this machine frees up our time and will allow us to conduct the work more frequently.”

Photo caption: Alasdair (left) with his Charterhouse kit supplied by Craig Chalmers at McGregor Groundcare