Evolving the Practice: Fraze Mowing Bermudagrass Comes To Maryland SoccerPlex

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Fraze mowing bermudagrass w/ the KORO Universe® Field Topmaker rotor became an active practice on dormant bermudagrass at FC Dallas Park in March.  Now for the 1st time, the practice has been used on bermudagrass greening up and starting its summer growth at Maryland SoccerPlex (NW side of Washington, DC).  The Patriot bermudagrass on  7 fields at SoccerPlex has been actively growing for about 3 weeks…  so fraze mowing is taking place right at the time of transitioning the rye grass overseeding out of the bermudagrass.

Fraze mowing 2 fields took place on Thursday of last week, May 30.  The top 1/2″ of the field was removed w/ the benefits being:

1) rye grass removal

2) poa annua and weed seed removal

3) thatch/organic build up removal

4)  smoothing the surface of the top of the field

With all the removal, the bermuda stolons and rhizomes were exposed to the sunlight to be allowed to green up completely and actively grow across the field instead of fighting to get up through the shade of the thatch/organic and competition of the rye/ poa.

Fraze Mowing w/ KORO Universe Field Topmaker

Fraze Mowing w/ KORO Universe Field Topmaker

Bermuda Plants Exposed w/ Removal of Rye, Poa, Weed Seed, and Thatch/ Organic Build Up

Bermuda Plants Exposed w/ Removal of Rye, Poa, Weed Seed, and Thatch/ Organic Build Up

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Stolons & Rhizomes Exposed

Stolons & Rhizomes Exposed

Following the “cleaning off” via fraze mowing, the fields were scarified at 1″ deep w/ a verticutter in 2 directions to cut the stolons and rhizomes to increase the number of plants and promote lateral and leaf growth.  Each point the bermuda is cut will promote growth and increase density as the fields fill-in.

Results of Fraze Mowing w/ KORO Universe & Double Scarifying

Results of Fraze Mowing w/ KORO Universe & Double Scarifying w/ Verticutter

Following fraze mowing and scarifying, the fields were put into a heavy watering cycle to keep the bermudagrass soaked down in the soil… much like sprigs would be soaked when they are planted from sprigging.  The water will help the remaining dormant plants to green up and start to grow.. and reduce the stress of the fraze mowing.

In 5-7 days time when leaves have re-generated and can be foliar fed, foliar bio-stimulant will be applied to promote more leaf and shoot growth.  Because the leaves were removed from fraze mowing, the photosynthetic surface has been removed.  Thus the additional of carbohydrates, amino acids, and plant hormones will provide food and energy to promote quicker regeneration .  1/2 lb of ammonium sulfate will also be applied, along granular polymer coated nitrogen (N) to release at 1/10th lbs N a week for the next 18 weeks and polymer coated phosphorous (K) to also release at 1/10th lbs K for the next 18 weeks.

The 2 fields clean off on May 30th re-open on June 15th to full play.  (so closed 16 total days) Stayed tuned to track the re-establishment!

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