Always Improving! University of Portland’s Merlo Field Universe Fraze Mow #2 Results

This week University of Portland’s Merlo Field became the first cool season turfgrass field in the United States to employ Universe Fraze Mowing for a second time.  In April, 2014, Field Manager Jordon Montgomery also was the first, as the first ever USA Field Manager to turn to the process for cool season turfgrass to remove:

70% poa annua population
– 1″ layer of thatch
– Reduce a thick layer of organic matter accumulated on the top of the sand based soil

The 2015 results of the Universe Fraze Mowing process were superb.

Universe Fraze Mowing of Merlo Field, U of Portland

Universe Fraze Mowing of Merlo Field, U of Portland

Poa Annua Plants Removed From Strong Stand of #RPP Ryegrass and #HGT Kentucky bluegrass

Poa Annua Plants Removed From Strong Stand of #RPP Ryegrass and #HGT Kentucky bluegrass

Poa Annua Patch Removed

Poa Annua Patch Removed

IMG_6796

Poa Annua plants and seed have been removed, along with 2014’s thatch and organic build up to keep the field surface from becoming slick.  Now new ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass seed will be sewed.  But even more importantly for durability and increased field use, the improved turfgrass varieties of RPR Ryegrass and HGT Kentucky bluegrass seeded last year following the Universe Fraze Mow can re-generate.  This will encourage the grasses to spread, ultimately increasing the tensile strength of the base surface to reduce divoting and wear.

2014 reduced the poa annua population from 70% to 20%.

2014 Merlo Field Before Universe Fraze Mowing w/ 70% Poa Annua

2014 Merlo Field Before Universe Fraze Mowing w/ 70% Poa Annua

2015 Poa Reduction and Surface Improvement

2015 Poa Reduction and Surface Improvement

The 1″ thatch layer was also removed along with the top of a thick organic layer.  The removal yielded a dramatically better playing surface.  The clean and re-generated surface is tight and strong, leading to nearly no divoting even when being used in the rain.  After 3 months of camps in Summer of 2014, a full men’s and women’s college schedule in the fall, and 13 spring matches, the field was nearly perfect when the 2015 Universe Fraze Mowing took place.

Thick, Dense Stand Even Through Goal Areas After 13 Spring Matches,  Full Men's and Women's Season in the Fall, and Summer Camps in June, July, and August

Thick, Dense Stand Monday, Even Through Goal Areas After 13 Spring Matches, Full Men’s and Women’s Season in the Fall, and Summer Camps in June, July, and August

When Merlo Field is/ was in such excellent condition and the poa annua had been dramatically reduced, why Universe Fraze Mowing in 2015?

Simple.  Improvement.

From Field Manager Jordon Montgomery… “We want to continue to improve the playing surface while increasing use. The introduction Portland Timbers 2, the USL pro team calling Merlo Field home is an example of that.  All our home teams and events need the best playing surface we can provide while being environmentally and budget conscious.  That all leads to Universe Fraze Mowing”.  

#GrassCanTakeMore.

AMAZING EVOLUTION & Quick History!  Universe fraze mowing cool season turfgrass was first performed at Paris St-Germain’s Parc des Princes Stadium in July of 2013.  New Head Groundsman Jonathan Calderwood chose the bold method, previously only used in the United States on bermudagrass, to remove the poa annua plants in his pitch and leave behind the existing desirable Kentucky bluegrass and Ryegrass.

PSG Renovation July 2013 (32)

So yes… Universe Fraze Mowing is DIFFERENT than basic fraise mowing.  Fraise mowing was introduced in 1996 by Mr. Ko Rodenburg, Superintendent of Parks Maintenance in Rotterdam, Holland when he invited the KORO Field Topmaker.  Rodenburg invented the machine to clean the poa annua seed off the top of his playing fields and to encourage some basic regeneration.  Fraise mowing was born!

With the introduction of the KORO Universe® Rotor for the Field Topmaker in winter of 2012-2013; allowing stolons and rhizomes on spreading grasses to remain while removing organic, thatch, and weed seed; lead to Universe Fraze Mowing directly from this blog to Mr. Allen Reed and Mr. Miles Studhalter’s bermuda fields at FC Dallas.  See for details: Summary of a new concept; Fraze Mowing & Concept to Active Practice; Fraze Mowing Debuts at FC Dallas.   The use on bermudagrass had started, then Mr. Calderwood working with Mr. Simon Gumbrill from Campey Turf Care, took the lessons from bermudagrass and implemented them to cool season. Now Jordon Montgomery in Portland as taken it even further with repeated use.  AMAZING how it continues to evolve with creative minded Field Managers ready and willing to try to new things!  #GrassCanTakeMore!

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Mizzou Sports Field Manager Josh McPherson’s Use of Universe Fraze Mowing Featured During Mizzou Soccer Match on SEC Network+

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Mizzou Sports Field Manager Josh McPherson’s Use of Universe Fraze Mowing Featured During Mizzou Soccer Match on SEC Network+

Columbia, MO; September 8, 2014: In June, University of Missouri Sports Field Manager Josh McPherson became the 1st SEC Sports Field Manager to utilize Universe fraze mowing. Friday night, Mr. McPherson was featured during the Mizzou soccer match on SEC Network.

Universe fraze mowing, a new cultivation practice adapted from an existing European practice, debuted in the United States in March, 2013.   Friday night, Mizzou Network featured Mr. McPherson and his decision to make Audrey J. Walton soccer field the 1st SEC field Universe mowed. Josh spoke of the reasoning for using the outside the box technique during the Mizzou v Northwestern soccer match on SEC Network+. See the feature here: http://youtu.be/sBwkOEWqu4c?list=UUsWz3SZVLdg3g51HSN4lPNA

 

Walton Field was one of five college soccer fields to be Universe fraze mowed in 2014, and one of 19 total fields in the US. Unique to Mr. McPherson’s use of the technique at Mizzou, Walton Field had the shortest regeneration window before it’s next use. Also unique, Walton Field was the 1st soccer field ever maintained by Universe fraze mowing developer Jerad Minnick. Minnick, President of Growing Innovations and creator of Growing Green Grass, is a graduate of Mizzou and alumni of Mizzou Athletic’s Sports Turf intern program.

For more on the development of Universe fraze mowing, see www.GrowingGreenGrass.Net.

 

About Growing Innovations: Growing Innovations is a natural grass support and education firm dedicated to a single mission: Establishing How Natural Grass Fields CAN Take More Use. Through creating and sharing new and improved concepts for natural grass field construction and maintenance, Growing Innovations illustrates a new world of possibilities for natural grass fields. Because “if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got”. www.GrowingInnovations.Net

 

#ThinkDifferent #GrassWillTakeMore

 

Contact Growing Innovations at: GrassStain@GrowingInnovations.Net