A modern approach to managing excessive thatch build-up in warm season grasses is “Universe Fraize Mowing.”
Most warm-season grasses are prone to the rapid accumulation of thatch in the sward. Conventional verticutting and scarifying only removes around 7 – 10% of the surface matter, and unless done on a regular basis cannot keep up with the accumulation of thatch. A radical approach is to remove all the organic build-up in one pass. The unique feature of the “Universe® Rotor” is that it can be set accurately to leave rhizomes and stolens in place, thus eliminating the need to re-sprigging.
Once exposed to sunlight by removal of the canopy, re-generation is rapid, often with full recovery in 3 – 4 weeks. Removing the thatch and organic debris minimizes water retention at the surface, ensuring that any available water passes directly to the rootzone. In transitional zones, “Universe® Fraize Mowing” is used to speed up the transition from winter grasses to warm season grasses. The Universe® Rotor will take out the cool season grass and any organic build – up, leaving rhizomes and stolens in place. By removing the compaction for water and nutrient, and exposing them to light, the transition period is dramatically reduced.
The original concept of the Universe® Rotor was for removing the organic build-up from the surface of the semi-synthetic, natural turf pitches that are now common in professional stadiums around the world. The Universe® Rotor achieves excellent surface hygiene without damaging the exposed synthetic fibres, often in one pass!
Annual renovation of sportsfields and stadium pitches
Fraize mowing with the new Terraplane® Rotor now forms the platform of the renovation practice for the majority of Premiership and Football League Clubs, as well as other established sporting venues like The All England Lawn Tennis Association’s Wimbledon tennis courts. “Koro-ing” removes all unwanted organic matter, and reduces Poa-Annua to a minimal level, leaving the surface flat, level and even. Follow-up renovation includes decompaction and top-dressing, before over-seeding, sprigging or sodding.
Koro by Imants Field Topmakers fitted with Digging Rotors have been used to good effect in Japan, following the nuclear reactor tragedy at Fukoshima in 2011. The surfaces of hundreds of sports fields, parks and other grassland areas have been removed and decontaminated material buried. The accuracy of the Koro machines has meant that a critical depth setting can be maintained resulting in fast regeneration without the need for resprigging or sodding.