Saturday, April 14, 2012

Vertical(Verticutting) mowing of greens

Early this past week, we vertical mowed the greens.  This is also referred to as verticutting.  Instead of setting the unit above the height of the green as a conventional mower, it is set at a depth below the surface of the greens so it will cut into the surface of the green.

There are a number of different benefits to this process.

  • The first helps to reduce the thatch/mat layer of the green.  The 37 blades on each of 3 reels will cut through the surface and remove some of the dead plant material.  Topdressing sand is applied to the green and the sand takes the place of the dead plant material.  This will improve firmness of the greens surface and does provide some gas exchange near the surface of the green. 
  • Since we had recently aerated our greens and had a great deal of sand near the surface, I did not want to go extremely deep with our operation.  Our purpose was to cut  through the bentgrass that by its nature grows sideways and will attempt to lay over.  The vertical action of the mower cuts through the longer leaf blades.  
  • The cutting action of the mower will also stand up the leaf blades.  The less grass surface that the ball touches, the less friction created and the better ball roll that our greens will have.
We will do a lighter version of this work during the season until the heat of summer kicks in.  

Russ vertical mowing the greens.  We went two directions to increase the amount of surface that was disrupted.

New employee Jeff brushing the greens to help stand the grass up  for regular mowing.  Not pictured is the actual mowing of the greens.

The view of one of the vertical mowing reels.

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