Monday, February 6, 2012

Vertical Mowing

Vertical mowing, verticutting or dethatching is the process in which special reels are used to cut or slice into the turf to remove thatch.
Vertical mowing reel

Poa Annua is a very fast growing plant, which consequently produces a lot of thatch. Our greens consist of around 80% Poa Annua and 20% Bentgrass. So, in order to control thatch in our greens we try to verticut at least twice a month during the growing season. By removing the thatch, this allows for better penetration of water, oxygen and nutrients to get into the root zone where the plant can absorb these things. Furthermore, removing the thatch provides a better putting surface. Because excess thatch causes the greens to be spongy, bumpy and slow, removing the thatch creates a smoother, firmer and faster putting surface.

#8 Green before verticut
Verticutting #8 Green
Thatch removed by verticutting

Cleanup after verticutting
As you can see, verticutting removes a lot of thatch and plant material. Verticutting is a slow process due to the amount of plant material that has to be cleaned off the green afterwards, but is a necessary cultural practice that helps produce the best possible putting surface

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