Vacuum cooling is the only technique that can extend the shelf life of turf. By using forced evaporation under extreme low pressure we are able to reduce the core temperature of our turf to a standard of 3 °C and herewith extend the shelf life substantially.
Vacuum cooling is a relatively new process within the turf cultivation. Pallets with turf are temporarily placed in an air-tight container after which vacuum pumps start to lower down the pressure on the inside of the container. Two to three percent of the moisture in the turf then starts to evaporate. The evaporation process extracts all energy (heat) from the turf. Due to the created vacuum, not only the outside of the pallet with turf is cooled down, but the core as well. In the past, when using traditional cooling methods, this was never possible.
After the cooling process the turf has reached a steady final temperature. In anticipation of the distribution, the turf is temporarily stored in a cold room. By vacuum cooling down the turf, its shelf life is considerably extended, up to 2 – 3 days. Distribution with refrigerated trucks is therefore not strictly necessary anymore, although with high temperatures it is still recommended.
Challenging sod heating
When turf is harvested, it has a certain field temperature. Due to the vitality of the turf, this temperature normally quickly rises during storage. This phenomenon is referred to as sod heating. At a certain point, sod heating can cause such great heat making the turf deteriorate and turn yellow, brown or even black. In this stadium, it is advised not to continue laying the turf.
The vacuum cooling process offers the solution when preventing sod heating. Grass starts to grow at a temperature around 5°C and by temporarily adjusting the turfs temperature below this level the vitality of the grass will temporarily be contained and the grass will produce less heat. Once the turf is laid and naturally warmed up, it will immediately start to establish on its new soil.
The technique of vacuum cooling enables us to provide a higher level of quality and guarantee, makes us more flexible in distribution and enlarges the amount of turf we have in stock.
- Low temperature right up to the core of the turf
- Extends the normal shelf life up to three times
- Lower risk of turf perishing
- More efficient distribution