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Lawn Care and The Grass Plant

Lawn Care & The Grass Plant

The Grass Plant

Introduction

First of all if we are going to have a nice lawn we first must understand the plant we are dealing with. Yes grass is a plant with roots and everything else a plant has including a leaf and a flower

Above Ground

  • Grass plants are 70% to 80% water
  • Grass clippings are 90% water
  • Grass clippings contain:
    • 4% Nitrogen
    • 2% Potassium
    • 0.5% Phosphorus
  • A 10,000 square foot lawn will contain 6 grass plants per square inch, 850 plants per square foot, 8.5 million plants in total.

Below Ground

  • 90% of the weight of grass is in its roots
  • A single grass plant has 387 miles of root
  • There are 329,000 miles of root per square foot
  • 3 billion miles of roots in a 10,000 square foot lawn
  • a 50 x 50 foot lawn (2,500 square feet) releases enough oxygen for a family of four, while absorbing carbon dioxide, hydrogen fluoride, and perosyacetyle nitrate

Feeding the lawn with fertilizers takes just a little understanding of chemistry. Just like we take nutrients from the food we eat, grass plants take nutrients from the soil they grow in. That is why we must replace all nutrients taken from the ground and keep the ground healthy so it will absorb all nutrients we supply. When feeding and treating a lawn you must always remember it is a long process, what you do now might not give your lawn results until next year such as insect control and crabgrass control.

Mowing

Mowing should be approached as if you were giving your baby a bath. You only want to scrub off the dirt and not to scrub so hard that we cause the skin to become irritated and bruised. At ProMow we feel that by removing only the top part of the grass plant with a scissor type cut instead of the machete cut of a spinning rotary mower is the best way to insure the park like appearance you are looking for.

Fertilizing

When you see the numbers listed on the front package of a fertilizer bag the numbers equate to the following:

The 1st number equals parts of Nitrogen. Nitrogen is a nutrient that really promotes growth in plants and growth means green. It will make weed plants grow as well so be careful when applying nitrogen. If you need a green lawn for a party or special event you can always put pure nitrogen on a lawn about three days before your event. Make sure you water thoroughly or put down just before a rainstorm.

The 2nd number equals Phosphate. Phosphate is a nutrient that is mined from special mines that are rich in nutrient deposits and are part of every living thing including humans. Phosphate gives the grass plant a strong backbone feeding the roots first stabilizing each root system them distributing that strength up through the green leaf of the stem.

The 3rd ingredient in fertilizer is Potassium or Potash this ingredient is not a nutrient as much as it is a ground stabilizer. You need to make sure that the ground you are growing grass plants in acts like a sponge. This is what Potassium brings to the table.

When taking care of a lawn it is easy to remember that a lawn needs care and feeding during the holidays. The first feeding should come with a strong dose of weed killer around Memorial Day. During the month of May your grass plants start feeling the ground heat up so the plant can start to release enzymes that promote good root growth. Unfortunately weeds have the same instinct so we must fool the with a feeding of their own. Watch closely the overnight temperatures, when you see a steady overnight temperature of 55 and above it is time to start feeding you grass and weed plants. The next holiday to look for is Independence Day 4th Of July. Your grass plants are doing just that trying to be independent and with this feeding and control application you will set the pace for the entire year. During this feeding make sure an even amount of all ingredients are used such as a 15-15-15 or 12-12-12 and be sure to pour it on don’t be stingy. Your local co-op or garden store can recommend a good treatment. Watch for special mailings from large home and garden stores too. They will often advertise specials on general fertilizers.

After the 4th comes Labor Day at the end of summer. In this treatment it is time to control insects for next year. Grubs and other insects are now laying eggs for hibernation through the winter. What you do now is very important. A 20-04-12 would be a good mix with an insect control added. Thanksgiving means the end of the feeding season unless you really want to be creative with your winter lawn care. The first number is important because Nitrogen will store in the ground for a time-release formula. Again we start to watch evening temperatures and lose some effective points of fertilizer simply because your sponge is not absorbing as much. This is also the time of the year when your grass plants are tired of being mowed played on and they are ready for a long winter nap. This thanksgiving fall feeding should include a weed treatment so we can get a jump on anything that might be trying to hide.

Grass Maintenance

The following sections will detail how to care for grass plants that grow in your area. Remember the success of you lawn is how you feed it, how you mow and treat it and how you treat the soil your plants grow in.

Bermuda Grass

Bermuda Grass Specifications

CHARACTERISTICS
Cool-season grass – dark green color and dense, beautiful appearance, medium leaf texture with excellent leaf uniformity. Forms a strong sod via rhizomes.

RECOMMENDED USAGE
Widely adapted basic lawn grass of the cool, humid, semi-arid and temperate regions – recommended for residential and commercial lawns. Also, widely used on sports fields and play areas, parks, cemeteries, commercial lawns and roadsides.

TEMPERATURE TOLERANCE
Thrives in cool weather and will tolerate very cold winters – undergoes stress during extremely hot weather, but will maintain good color and appearance if properly watered and cared for.

DROUGHT RESISTANCE
Medium – can go into summer dormancy when irrigation is withheld; upon return of moisture supply, will green up again. Some varieties have better tolerance to heat and drought.

SHADE ADAPTATION
Fair to poor – thrives in sunny areas – a few varieties are moderately adapted to partial shade.

WEAR RESISTANCE
Medium – recovers quickly from occasional abuse – will withstand moderate foot traffic usage – rhizomes enhance quick recovery, especially in spring and fall. Consult your local Turf grass Producers International Grower if more information is needed on this or other turf grass species.

Bermuda Grass Maintenance

WATER NEEDS
Moderate – apply at least 1 inch of water as a deep soaking every 4 to 7 days to encourage a deep, healthy root system during hot or dry periods. Avoid frequent, shallow watering that results in shallow roots, permitting weed germination and growth.

MOWING & THATCHING
Optimum-mowing height is 1-2 inches for a quality lawn. Slow growth results in less mowing. Mow regularly with a reel mower, allowing clippings from frequent mowing to remain on the lawn. Never remove more than 1/3 of the shoot growth at one mowing. Minimal thatch build-up seldom requires dethatching.

SOIL & FERTILIZER NEEDS
Prefers an acidic soil pH of 5 to 6.5 – is well adapted to infertile, well-drained soil – very low fertilizer requirement. Fertilize 1 or 2 times a year, spring and fall, with a complete fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphate and potassium – apply nitrogen at 1-2 lbs per 1,000 sq. ft. per year.

DISEASE, WEED & INSECT CONTROL
Aggressive enough to compete with weeds, reducing the need for chemical controls. Minimal disease and insect problems that can be chemically controlled. All information is based on average/normal conditions; individual sites and situations may differ. Therefore, contact your local nurseryman or county Extension Office if more detailed information in needed on specific maintenance questions.

Centipede Grass

Centipede Grass Specifications

CHARACTERISTICS
Warm-season grass – dense, medium to dark green turf – produces an attractive lawn with a medium to coarse textured grass blade – a very low maintenance grass.

RECOMMENDED USAGE
Good general-purpose grass for lawns – best adapted to hot, humid and tropical climates, grows well where rainfall is high and summers are warm and humid – popular because of low maintenance.

TEMPERATURE TOLERANCE
Grows well in full sun – very tolerant to high temperatures, up to 100°F, but sensitive to low temperatures, going dormant through winter months at temperatures below 55°F. Cold hardiness ranks between bermudagrass and St. Augustinegrass.

DROUGHT RESISTANCE
Moderate – is sensitive to drought, but has a rapid recovery rate. Can go into summer dormancy when irrigation is withheld, upon return of moisture supply, will green up again.

SHADE ADAPTATION
Good – some varieties maintain adequate turf quality in 60% shade – tolerant of pine tree shade.

WEAR RESISTANCE
Poor – slow growth pattern – will not withstand heavy wear – recovers slowly from damage. Consult your local Turfgrass Producers International Grower if more information is needed on this or other turfgrass species.

Centipede Grass Maintenance

WATER NEEDS
Moderate – apply at least 1 inch of water as a deep soaking every 4 to 7 days to encourage a deep, healthy root system during hot or dry periods. Avoid frequent, shallow watering that results in shallow roots, permitting weed germination and growth.

MOWING & THATCHING
Optimum-mowing height is 1-2 inches for a quality lawn. Slow growth results in less mowing. Mow regularly with a sharp reel mower, allowing clippings from frequent mowing to remain on the lawn. Never remove more than 1/3 of the shoot growth at one mowing. Minimal thatch build-up seldom requires dethatching.

SOIL & FERTILIZER NEEDS
Prefers an acidic soil pH of 5 to 6.5 – is well adapted to infertile, well-drained soil – very low fertilizer requirement. Fertilize 1 or 2 times a year, spring and fall, with a complete fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphate and potassium – apply nitrogen at 1-2 lbs per 1,000 sq. ft. per year.

DISEASE, WEED & INSECT CONTROL
Aggressive enough to compete with weeds, reducing the need for chemical controls. Minimal disease and insect problems that can be chemically controlled.

Fine Fescue Grass

Fine Fescue Grass Specifications

CHARACTERISTICS
Cool-season grass – deep green color – finest grass blade of any lawn grass -upright growth habit creates a pleasing uniformity – has rapid germination and seedling establishment.

RECOMMENDED USAGE
Well adapted to cool summers and high altitudes – can do well even in cold and arid climates – often used in mixtures with other grasses because of an ability to blend – frequent component of bluegrass mixtures because it grows well in shade or drought-dry soil – used with a warm-season grass in the South, it provides green winter color.

TEMPERATURE TOLERANCE
Good – tolerates hot and cold weather well – has good winter hardiness – can be used in areas that are subject to widest temperature fluctuations.

DROUGHT TOLERANCE
Very good drought tolerance for a cool-season grass can go dormant in summer if irrigation is withheld, upon return of moisture supply it will green up again.

SHADE TOLERANCE
Moderate – most shade tolerant of all grasses but needs some sun – best cool season grass for dry, shady lawns.

WEAR RESISTANCE
Moderate – grass blades are non-succulent and hardy making an ideal play surface – does not recover well from severe injury. Consult your local Turfgrass Producers International Grower if more information is needed on this or other turf grass species.

Fine Fescue Grass Maintenance

WATER NEEDS
Low to moderate – water thoroughly (at least 1 inch) once or twice a week during most summer conditions – can enter summer dormancy if no water available.

MOWING & THATCHING
Mow regularly with a reel mower – slow growth habit results in a uniform response to mowing – does best with a mowing height of 1 – 2 1/2 inches – will tolerate close mowing in cool climates. Clippings from frequent mowing can be left on the lawn, as Fine fescue does not develop thatch. Fine fescue can be left unmowed for a “meadow look.”

SOIL & FERTILIZER NEEDS
Tolerates acid soil well, growing within a soil acidity range of pH 5.0 to 6.5 – has the lowest fertilizer requirements of any cool-season grass – apply a high nitrogen fertilizer with 1 lb. of actual nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. per year split between spring and fall application.

DISEASE, WEED & INSECT CONTROL
Most varieties have good resistance to many turfgrass diseases. Mixed with other grasses,fine fescue adds disease resistance to the turf. It has occasional susceptibility to summer diseases in hot climates, especially in moist, fertile soil.

Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky Bluegrass Specifications

CHARACTERISTICS
Cool-season grass – dark green color and dense, beautiful appearance, medium leaf texture with excellent leaf uniformity. Forms a strong sod via rhizomes.

RECOMMENDED USAGE
Widely adapted basic lawn grass of the cool, humid, semi-arid and temperate regions – recommended for residential and commercial lawns. Also, widely used on sports fields and play areas, parks, cemeteries, commercial lawns and roadsides.

TEMPERATURE TOLERANCE
Thrives in cool weather and will tolerate very cold winters – undergoes stress during extremely hot weather, but will maintain good color and appearance if properly watered and cared for.

DROUGHT RESISTANCE
Medium – can go into summer dormancy when irrigation is withheld; upon return of moisture supply, will green up again. Some varieties have better tolerance to heat and drought.

SHADE ADAPTATION
Fair to poor – thrives in sunny areas – a few varieties are moderately adapted to partial shade.

WEAR RESISTANCE
Medium – recovers quickly from occasional abuse – will withstand moderate foot traffic usage – rhizomes enhance quick recovery, especially in spring and fall. Consult your local Turf grass Producers International Grower if more information is needed on this or other turf grass species.

Kentucky Bluegrass Maintenance

WATER NEEDS
Moderate – apply 0.5 to 1 inch of water as a deep soaking every 5 to 7 days to encourage a deep healthy root system during dry or hot periods. Avoid frequent, shallow watering that results in shallow roots, permitting weed germination and growth.

MOWING & THATCHING
Optimum-mowing height 1 1/2 – 2 inches for a high quality lawn. Mow regularly with a sharp reel mower, allowing clippings from frequent mowing to remain on the lawn. Never remove more than 1/3 of the shoot growth at one mowing. Kentucky bluegrass may develop some thatch at higher nitrogen levels. Prime time to dethatch is in early fall.

SOIL & FERTILIZATION NEEDS
Performs best in fertile, non-acid reacting soil with good drainage. Fertilize twice a year, spring and fall, with a complete fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphate and potassium. Apply 2.5 to 4 lbs. actual nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. per year for higher requiring nitrogen varieties also apply fertilizer at 0.5 to I lb. nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. every 4-6 weeks. During summer, fertilizer rates should be reduced by 50%. Water thoroughly after fertilization.

DISEASE, WEED & INSECT CONTROL
New varieties have improved resistance to diseases such as leafspot, stripe smut, powdery mildew, dollar spot, Typhula blight, summer patch and rusts. If broadleaf weeds need to be controlled with herbicide, the turf should be well established and in vigorous condition. Practically all insects that damage lawns can be controlled biologically or with insecticides.

Rye Grass

Rye Grass Specifications

CHARACTERISTICS
Cool-season grass – moderately dark green with good density and fine leaf texture – known for its rapid establishment rate – produces attractive, tough leaves and low growing crowns that create a stable turf – easy to maintain.

RECOMMENDED USAGE
Prefers regions with mild winters and cool moist summers, however, it is highly adaptable and widely used – compatible in mixes with bluegrass and fine fescue to make a hardier turf – can be used for sport fields and play areas.

TEMPERATURE TOLERANCE
Good – newer varieties have greater tolerance to cold winters and hot summers – most vigorous when cool and moist.

DROUGHT TOLERANCE
Good – without water, will go dormant during a short drought, but will recover.

SHADE TOLERANCE
Moderate – shows tolerance to filtered shade.

WEAR RESISTANCE
Fair – suitable for moderate recreation and foot traffic areas exhibiting good initial wear recovery, especially in spring and fail, when growth is rapid. Consult your local Turf grass Producers International Grower if more information is needed on this or other turf grass species.

Rye Grass Maintenance

WATER NEEDS
Moderate – twice weekly, deep watering (at least 1 inch per application) is sufficient – during very hot weather, water more frequently – new varieties have good heat tolerance.

MOWING & THATCHING
Low growth habit – mow with a reel mower at 1 to 2 1/2 inches – new varieties have good mowing qualities and are more tolerant to close mowing. There is no thatch as grass thickens by tillers instead of stolons or rhizomes.

SOIL & FERTILIZER NEEDS
Highly adaptable to a wide range of soils, from light and sandy to heavy and clayey. Fertilizer needs are low to medium – fertilize with high nitrogen fertilizer every 4 to 6 weeks in spring and fall, applying between 3 to 6 lbs. of actual nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. annually.

DISEASE, WEED & INSECT CONTROL
Most new varieties of ryegrass have good resistance to diseases and insects, including brown patch, leaf spot, stem and crown rust – used in warm climates in combination with bluegrass, ryegrass reduces the spread of major summer diseases. If there is a weed problem, controls are most effective during spring and fall months – be sure that turf is in vigorous condition prior to herbicide application. Practically all insects that damage lawns can be controlled with insecticides.

St. Augustine Grass

St. Augustine Grass Specifications

CHARACTERISTICS
Warm-season grass – light to medium green color, coarse leaf texture, creeping growth habit, via stolons – robust, fast growing, establishes rapidly – level of maintenance is low to moderate.

RECOMMENDED USAGE
Well adapted to coastal regions with hot, tropical climates – used in residential, commercial and industrial landscapes.

TEMPERATURE TOLERANCE
Thrives in heat, adjusting well to temperatures up to 105°F – goes dormant and turns tan colored during winter when temperatures drop below 55°F. Very poor low temperature hardiness.

DROUGHT RESISTANCE
Excellent to fair – wide range in drought avoidance among varieties. Can go into summer dormancy when irrigation is withheld; upon return of moisture, will green up again.

SHADE ADAPTATION
Excellent to poor – varieties show wide range in shade adaptation.

WEAR RESISTANCE
Moderate – rapid, resilient and stoloniferous growth habit. Consult your local Turf grass Producers International Grower if more information is needed on this or other turf grass species.

St. Augustine Grass Maintenance

WATER NEEDS
Moderate to high, thrives on wet sites – apply 0.5 to 1 inch of water as a deep soaking every 3 to 6 days to encourage a deep, healthy root system during dry or hot periods. Avoid frequent, shallow watering that results in shallow roots, permitting weed germination and growth.

MOWING & THATCHING
Optimum mowing height 2-3 inches for a high quality lawn, mow too low and weeds are likely to gain a foothold. Mow regularly with a sharp reel mower, allowing clippings from frequent mowing to remain of the lawn. Never remove more than 1/3 of the shoot growth at one mowing. A mild vertical cutting may be needed during the warmer months on a vigorous turf that has received high nitrogen fertilization.

SOIL & FERTILIZER NEEDS
Grows on a wide range of soils, but prefers neutral to alkaline soils – has excellent saline salt tolerance. Fertilize twice a year, spring and fall, with a complete fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphate and potassium. May also apply 2 to 3 summer applications of nitrogen fertilizer, using 1 lb. nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. Apply nitrogen at 2 to 6 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. per year. Too high a rate of nitrogen fertilization can increase thatch build-up; encourage chinch bugs and brown patch damage.

DISEASE, WEED & INSECT CONTROL
A well maintained turf will provide the best weed control. Some varieties are resistant or tolerant of chinch bugs and to the St. Augustine decline (SAD) virus. Most fungal diseases of St. Augustinegrass can be controlled with fungicides.

Tall Fescue Grass

Tall Fescue Grass Specifications

CHARACTERISTICS
Cool-season grass – medium to dark green color, moderate density – more extensive root system than any other cool-season turf grass. Texture ranges from coarse to medium for newer turf types. A bunch type grass.

RECOMMENDED USAGE
Very good transition zone grass – adapted to moderately cold winters and warm summers – good tough play lawn – recommended for a wide variety of uses, including residential and commercial landscapes, roadsides, parks, recreation areas, and sports fields.

TEMPERATURE TOLERANCE
Good heat tolerance for a cool-season grass – grows in a wide range of temperatures in the transitional climatic zone between cool and warm climates – less cold hardy than most cool-season grasses.

DROUGHT RESISTANCE
Good – one of the better cool-season turf grasses, fairly deep root system helps avoid drought. Can go into summer dormancy, with brown leaves, when irrigation is withheld; upon return of moisture supply, will green up again. Some varieties have better tolerance to heat and drought.

SHADE ADAPTATION
Good in transition zone – prefers full sun – moderately tolerant to partial shade. Of the cool-season grasses, only fine leafed rescues rank higher in shade adaptation. WEAR RESISTANCE: Good – suitable for moderate recreation and foot traffic areas exhibiting good initial wear recovery, especially in spring and fall when growth is rapid. Consult your local Turf grass Producers International Grower if more information is needed on this or other turf grass species.

Tall Fescue Grass Maintenance

WATER NEEDS
Moderate – apply 0.5 to 1 inch of water as a deep soaking every 3 to 7 days to encourage a deep, healthy root system during dry or hot periods. Avoid frequent, shallow watering that results in shallow roots, permitting weed germination and growth.

MOWING & THATCHING
Optimum mowing height of 2 to 3 inches for a high quality lawn. Mow regularly with a sharp reel mower, allowing clippings from frequent mowing to remain on the lawn. Never remove more than 1/3 of the shoot growth at one mowing. Tall fescue forms very little thatch.

SOIL & FERTILIZER NEEDS
Adapts to a wide range of soil conditions – has rather deep extensive root system for a cool-season grass that makes excellent use of soil moisture and mineral nutrients – good tolerance to saline soil conditions. Fertilize twice a year, spring and fall, with a complete fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphate and potassium – apply N at 2 to 4 lbs. per sq. ft. per year. Will respond well to high nitrogen applications to achieve a higher quality turf. Water thoroughly after fertilization.

DISEASE, WEED & INSECT CONTROL
Varieties are available that are resistant to net blotch, brown patch and crown rust. For weeds, chemical controls are most effective during fall and spring.

Zoysia Grass

Zoysia Grass Specifications

CHARACTERISTICS
Warm-season grass – leaf texture from fine to medium coarse – color ranges from light to medium green – forms a dense, low maintenance lawn – spreads by stolons and rhizomes – shoot growth rate is slow. Easy to maintain.

RECOMMENDED USAGE
Hot, humid and tropical climates – can withstand very heavy usage – recommended for residential and commercial lawn sites.

TEMPERATURE TOLERANCE
Tolerates heat exceptionally well up to 100(F, – subject to winter dormancy as it turns tan to brown at temperatures below 55(F, Zoysia japonica has fair cold hardiness, the best of the zoysias, but still ranks lower than cool-season turfgrasses.

DROUGHT RESISTANCE
Moderate to good – remains green and resists short periods of drought – takes heat as well or better than any other grass. Can go into summer dormancy when irrigation is withheld; upon return of moisture supply, will green up again. Some varieties have better tolerance to heat and drought.

SHADE ADAPTATION
Good – slow growing in partial shade, but much better than some warm-season grasses.

WEAR RESISTANCE
Superior – exceptionally hardy, has the best wear resistance of any grass – tolerates heavy traffic – but slow to recover from severe thinning. Consult your local Turfgrass Producers International Grower if more information is needed on this or other turfgrass species.

Zoysia Grass Maintenance

WATER NEEDS
Low to medium – apply at least 1 inch of water as a deep soaking every, 4 to 7 days to encourage a deep, healthy root system during dry or hot periods. Avoid frequent, shallow watering that results in shallow roots, permitting weed germination and growth.

MOWING & THATCHING
Optimum mowing height 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches for a high quality lawn, slow growth rate reduces mowing frequency. Mow regularly with a sharp reel mower, allowing clippings from frequent mowing to remain on the lawn. Never remove more than 1/3 of the shoot growth at one mowing. Periodic vertical cutting may be needed to control thatch accumulation if high nitrogen level is applied.

SOIL & FERTILIZATION NEEDS
Tolerates high salinity and infertile soil relatively well. Fertilize twice a year, spring and fall, with a complete fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphate and potassium. May also apply 1 or 2 summer fertilizer applications in climates with a long growing season. Apply N at 2 to 5 lbs per 1,000 sq. ft. per year. Water thoroughly after fertilization.

DISEASE, WEED & INSECT CONTROL
Some varieties have good resistance to diseases such as rust and leafspot, and to billbugs. The dense turf produced by zoysiagrass prevents most weeds from appearing. All information is based on average/normal conditions; individual sites and situations may differ. Therefore, contact your local nurseryman or county Extension Office if more detailed information in needed on specific maintenance questions.

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Creating and Maintaining Athletic Fields

Creating & Maintaining Athletic Fields

CREATING ATHLETIC FIELDS | INTRODUCTION | SCHEDULING | TYPES OF FIELDS | GRADING AND DRAINAGE | BUYING GOOD SEED | FALL SEEDING | SEEDING IN SPRING OR WINTER | SEEDING | MULCHING | IRRIGATING | PROMOWING | CONTROLLING WEEDS
ANNUAL MAINTENANCE | CONTROLLING TRAFFIC | AERIFYING | IRRIGATING | FERTILIZING | FERTILIZERS

Creating Athletic Fields

Introduction

Athletic fields are the toughest of all turf areas to manage. Season-long traffic in all types of weather can literally destroy a field, plus the playing schedule rarely allows for aggressive turf management practices that are absolutely essential to keep grass alive. Athletic fields must be constructed and managed properly to provide adequate turf, while minimizing the chance of injury to players. This booklet highlights several principles of construction and maintenance to help produce a field with good playability and emphasis on player safety. This booklet was conceived from studies done through the Agricultural Sciences Departments of Purdue University, University of Florida, University of Georgia and The University of Hawaii.

Scheduling

When planning construction of any turf area, the optimum target completion date is your end of warm weather season. This is because mid-August is the best time to seed cool-season turf grasses like Kentucky bluegrass, and Bermudagrass, which is the preferred grass to use for athletic fields depending on your location. A general rule of thumb would be, Kentucky for northern areas and Bermuda for southern areas. Therefore, when planning construction, work backwards from mid-August, allowing ample time for grading, settling, installation of irrigation and drainage, etc. to determine the start date. If seeding occurs in mid-August when growing conditions are exceptional, and irrigation is supplied, the fields will normally be usable within 12 months after seeding. On the other hand, if seeding occurs at any other time of the year, it could take 18 months or longer before the field is ready for play

Types of Fields

The three basic construction types are native soil fields made of existing soil or topsoil brought on to the site, modified soils where the existing soil is modified with amendments such as sand or peat, and soil-less fields, which are essentially 100% sand. The most common type of field is the native soil field.

Grading and Drainage

Without proper surface drainage, depressions will gradually develop that will hold water, make it difficult to maintain turf, and possibly risk injury to players. Though most coaches and players prefer to have a perfectly flat field, this is only possible with a very expensive soilless field. A 2% slope is preferred on most turf areas, but a 1% slope is acceptable on native soil fields given play considerations. For native soil fields, it is imperative to achieve a 1% slope from the center of the field to both sidelines. This will make a crown from 9 to 18 inches at the center of the field depending on the width. A less desirable alternative is to slope the field from one sideline to the other at a 1 to 2% grade. This will provide a “flat” field and allow surface drainage off the field, but is not as efficient as moving water from a field crowned in the center. Many will consider substituting subsurface drain tile lines for surface drainage. This is not recommended because water can be removed from a field more rapidly by surface drainage and will allow play within hours after a rain. Subsurface drainage is much slower and water will move off a field only within days or weeks after a rain. However, subsurface tile lines with open surface grates are important to install at the edge of a field to collect the surface drainage from the field.

After the sub grade is allowed to settle or is compacted, topsoil should be brought in over the rough grade. Ideally, four to six inches of topsoil is needed for optimum turf performance. After the topsoil is replaced, tile drainage with risers and/or catch basins should be installed on the sidelines of the field. In-ground irrigation should also be installed at this time. Though in-ground irrigation is relatively expensive to install, it is practically required to maintain playable soccer fields in Indiana.

After drainage and irrigation installation, the topsoil will usually need to be tilled to break up clods and to create a uniform seedbed. Avoid tilling soils that are too wet because it will smear the soil and decrease drainage. Overly aggressive tilling should also be avoided because it will create a fluffy and fine particled soil that is prone to compaction and poor drainage and aeration. Inclusion of soil amendments during tillage provides marginal effects and thus generally is not recommended.

Prior to final grading, allow adequate time for soil to settle to avoid uneven turf later. Irrigation or rainfall will accelerate settling. During this time, a soil test should be taken from the site, which will determine fertilizer recommendations for the area. Correct any deficiencies in nutrients or pH by following the recommendations on the soil test report. Final grading follows tilling and serves to smooth and level the surface. Hand rakes, sand trap rakes, or other tools are used to establish the seeding surface. A final shallow raking should occur immediately before seeding to prepare a good seed bed. After the seedbed is prepared, apply a starter fertilizer.

Buying Good Seed

It is important to purchase high quality grass seed for any turf area, but it is especially important for athletic fields. High quality seed will probably be some of the most expensive seed available. However, the cost of seed is minuscule compared to the amount of money spent on maintaining the field for the next 20 years or the lifetime of the field. The best way to purchase high quality grass seed is to contact a reputable company who has experience providing seed for athletic fields. Additionally, the ability to understand seed labels is critical when selecting seed to determine the quality.

Fall Seeding

As mentioned previously, the best time of year to seed a soccer field is in the late summer to early fall. Adequate soil moisture, warm soil, and limited weed pressure allow for excellent seedling growth. The more time the field has to establish itself before summer, the better. Between August 15 and September 15 is optimum seeding time in the northern half of Indiana; from September 1 to September 30 is optimum in the southern half of Indiana. It is critical to seed as early as possible within these windows. Even when seeding within these windows, waiting one week later to seed may mean the stand will take two to four additional weeks to mature. Establishment in the spring is possible but not as effective as fall seeding.

Seeding in Spring or Winter

Seeding in the spring is possible, but only if an automatic irrigation system is in place to provide adequate water for the seedlings through the first summer. It is important to seed as early in the spring as possible to maximize the competition of turfgrass over crabgrass. Dormant (winter) seeding or early April seeding is preferred. Dormant seeding occurs when seed lies dormant until the soil temperatures warm in April or May. Depending on your location, dormant seeding can be done as early as Thanksgiving and as late as March. The benefit of dormant seeding is that as the soil heaves and cracks during the winter, crevices (honeycombs) are created for the seeds, which create ideal germination conditions. Additionally, dormant seeding is easier to schedule than spring seeding, because spring rains make it difficult to seed after March. Though seed-soil contact is important regardless of seeding date, it is especially important when dormant or spring seeding. Irrigate often as soon as temperatures favor germination (soil temperatures above 55°F). As root systems develop, gradually reduce frequency but increase duration of irrigation. Continue irrigation throughout the summer until an adequate root system is established.

Seeding

Seed should be applied using a drop spreader, because rotary spreaders do not disperse the seed uniformly. However, there are no spreader calibration guides for turfgrass seed. The easiest way to apply seed uniformly is to set the spreader adjustment very low, sow one half of the seed in one direction, and then sow the other half at right angles to the first direction of seeding.

It might take three or more passes over the field in a single direction, but it is well worth the time to get a uniform seeding. Hydroseeding can be used where seed is combined with paper-based mulch and sprayed onto the field. Though this is more expensive than traditional drop seeding, it delivers excellent results with good germination and the added benefits of mulch. Contact a local reputable landscaper for hydroseeding.

Mulching

Mulching or covering is generally not recommended for an area as large as an athletic field. However, since mulch conserves water, it is important to mulch fields that cannot be watered two to four times daily during establishment. One bale of clean (weed-free) straw per thousand square feet will give a light covering that will not have to be removed after germination. Oat or wheat straw is strongly preferred over hay or soybean stubble. Do not apply too much mulch, which will shade seedlings and have to be raked off later. Apply the mulch very lightly so you can still see approximately 50% of the soil through the mulch layer.

Irrigating

Seedlings are very susceptible to drying out, and the seedbed should not be allowed to dry. A newly seeded field will need to be irrigated two to four times daily depending on the weather. This is why automatic irrigation is extremely important. When irrigating (each time), enough water should be applied to moisten the top one-half to two inches of the soil profile, but avoid over-watering and saturating the area. Once the seedlings are two inches high, gradually reduce the frequency of irrigation and water more deeply. After the turf has been mowed two or three times with a reel type mower, deep and infrequent irrigation to the depth of the root system is most effective.

ProMowing

Mowing a new field will encourage the turf to fill-in quickly. Proper mowing practices will also promote adequate rooting and surface density and uniform growth. Mowing should begin when the first few seedlings are tall enough to mow. You may only mow 10% of the plants in the first mowing, 20-30% of the plants in the second mowing, and so on. Most people wait too long to mow a newly seeded field, so mow early and often with a reel type mower. Mow 2.0-2.5 inches and as always, never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade at any one mowing. Mowing is important to maintain the health, playability, and aesthetics of a athletic fields. Mowing height of a Kentucky bluegrass soccer field should be approximately 2.0-2.5 inches, 0.75 inches for Bermudagrass. Mowing lower than these heights on most fields will put added stress on the plants and will decrease vigor of the plants and playability over the long term. Mowing below the optimum height restricts root growth, favors weeds, and increases susceptibility to damage from insects, disease, drought, and traffic.

Mowing frequency depends on how fast the grass is growing. Some fields may need mowing two or three times per week during spring and fall and only once every two weeks during summer. Mow frequently enough so as not to remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade in a single mowing. For instance, if you are mowing at two inches, mow before the grass reaches three inches tall. If the grass has grown too tall, raise the mowing height and gradually lower it back to the original height over the next few mows. Avoid mowing during midday when temperatures are above 90o and the soil is dry because you may damage the turf. If you must mow during a hot and dry period, wait until temperatures moderate in the early morning or late evening.

Rotary mowers are not recommended for use on athletic fields. Most rotary mowers only cut well at mowing heights of 3 inches and above. Reel type mowers such as the ProMow Trophy or Gold Series mow best at two and a half inches and lower.

When mowing, due to the large cut that ProMow offers, you should consider mowing in both directions, it won’t take much longer and your grass will be trained to grow straight and very rigid. Your ProMow mower blades must be sharp a sharp blade results in a cleaner and healthier cut, leaving a more attractive and healthy field.

Clipping removal is generally not recommended on most areas including athletic fields. Clippings do not cause thatch, and returning clippings will recycle valuable nutrients to the soil thereby reducing fertilizer requirements.

Controlling Weeds

There is little weed pressure in the fall so weed control may not be needed for fall seeding. If broadleaf weeds such as clover and dandelion become a problem later in the fall, they can be easily controlled with a broadleaf herbicide application in October or November, after the third or fourth mowing. Annual grasses such as crabgrass can be easily controlled the first year with pre-emergence herbicides applied in the spring. In seeding made very late in fall, winter, or spring and the field is not fully established by spring, avoid applying a pre-emergence herbicide in early spring because it may damage late-developing seedlings. In this case, consider using a post-emergence crabgrass herbicide later in summer to control crabgrass.

Annual Maintenance

Controlling Traffic

Constant play on athletic fields will cause the turf to deteriorate and become un-playable and possibly dangerous to the athletes. Strict traffic management is the most effective tool in maintaining playability of fields. Rotate play to schedule maintenance such as aerification and overseeding to limit turf damage and aid in recovery. Consider preventing play for three or more growing months each field depending on the time of year, amount of play, and extent of damage. Keep strict practice areas to limit damage on game fields. Consider movable goals, benches, bleachers, and fences to help further limit damage.

Aerifying

Aerification is the mechanical removal of soil cores and may be the most important turf management practice on soccer fields. Aerification relieves soil compaction, improves water and air movement into the soil, increases rooting, and greatly improves turfgrass health.

Aerification is most beneficial in compacted areas with intense traffic such as goalmouths, the centers of fields, and sideline areas. Whenever aerification is done on a soccer field, it should be combined with seeding to help maintain dense turf. This will be discussed more in the overseeding section.

Aerification is most beneficial when the largest tines or spoons available are used; penetration is 2 to 4 inches deep, and when 20 to 40 holes are punched per square foot. Aerifiers with reciprocating arms are the most effective. Aerifiers that roll behind tractors are less effective because they do not penetrate deep enough nor punch enough holes per square foot. Most aerifying machines available at rental agencies may not punch enough holes per square foot on a single pass, thus multiple passes will be needed to achieve the 20 to 40 holes/ft2. Cores can be broken up and dispersed following aerification with a dragmat. Practices such as slicing or spiking remove no soil and are not considered aerification. The purchase of a large reciprocating arm aerifier should be included in the budget because aerification will be needed often. There are professional aerification services that can be hired to aerify athletic fields providing a viable alternative to purchasing your own aerifier.

Aerification should be performed as often as possible on an athletic field and should be done preferably when the turf is actively growing. However, if playing schedules do not allow for aerification during the season, aerifying at any time of the year is better than not aerifying at all. Kentucky bluegrass or tall fescue should be aerified at least once in the fall (September) and once in the spring (April). Bermudagrass should be aerified at least once in June or July when it is actively growing.

Irrigating

To maintain a healthy, actively growing turf capable of recovery from damage, it is essential to water a field during dry periods. This is especially important on a field that receives regular overseeding or sprigging because seedlings are present in the field almost all year long. Seedlings cannot withstand moisture stress because they do not have a well-developed root system capable of extracting water from a large area in the soil. Bermudagrass fields generally have much lower water requirements than Kentucky bluegrass fields. However, ample water is needed to encourage recovery and establishment of new Bermudagrass sprigs. The same principles for irrigating cool season grasses hold true when irrigating warm season grasses.

The frequency of watering will vary from site to site and should be determined by the appearance of the turf. This can be determined because the first signs of water stress in a turfgrass stand are a bluish-green color, and footprints remain in the turf after walking across it. Ideally, the turf should be watered at this point. As the degree of water stress increases, the turf will wilt and develop a grayish-green color. Turf that has wilted should be watered without delay. Wilted turf will recover very rapidly following watering. Severe drought stress will cause the turf plants to cease growing, and the leaves will turn brown and possibly die. If soccer fields are allowed to wilt or turn brown, do not allow play on the fields until they can be irrigated and the turf recovers. Though this might take up to two weeks, it will prevent severe damage that will result from traffic on wilted or dormant turf.

Most fields will need from 1 to 1-1/2 inches of water per week depending on weather, soil type, etc. It is best to apply this amount of water in a single, thorough soaking, or two equal applications of water three to four days apart rather than in light irrigations every day. The soil should be wetted to the depth of the deepest root.

Schedule irrigation as to not interfere with play and to allow ample infiltration and drying prior to use. The ideal time to irrigate a soccer field is from 4:00 to 8:00 a.m. At this time, water pressure is usually high, there is little distortion of the watering pattern by wind, the amount of water lost to evaporation is negligible, and the field will dry by the time it is used later in the day. The second best time to water is from 8:00 to 12:00 p.m. Usually, distortion from the wind is not a problem at this time and loss from evaporation is slight. A major problem may be lack of water pressure for those using municipal water systems. A potential problem caused by watering in the early evening hours may be greater incidence of disease. This problem can be reduced by watering only when the turf needs water and by watering infrequently but deeply. Watering an established turf during midday is not very effective. A large amount of water is lost through evaporation, making it difficult to thoroughly wet the soil. Although not recommended, midday watering does not cause the turf to burn as once thought.

Fertilizing

Athletic fields need to be fertilized to maintain color, density, and vigor. Athletic fields also need to be fertilized slightly more than other turf areas to encourage growth and overcome the constant wear and tear. Fertilizer needs may vary due to:

  • Weather: A rainy summer will stimulate growth and will usually necessitate more annual fertilizer than a dry summer. The same holds true for an irrigated field versus an un-irrigated field.
  • Soil type: Turf grown on a very sandy or a very heavy clay soil will need more fertilizer than turf grown on a silt loam soil. Soil type and pH will have a large effect on the amount of phosphorus and potassium that needs to be applied.
  • Age and quality of existing field: A new field will need more fertilizer for the first few years to enhance density. Improving a neglected or thin field that needs significant overseeding or sprigging may also require more annual fertilizer for the first few years.

Fertilizers

All fertilizers will have a series of three numbers displayed prominently on the label. These numbers represent the percentage by weight of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. For instance, a 24-4-8 fertilizer will have 24% Nitrogen, 4% Phosphorus, and 8% Potassium. Though all three elements are important in maintaining a healthy turf stand, Nitrogen will cause the greatest response. Nitrogen fertilizers come in two basic forms: quick release (soluble) nitrogen and slow release (insoluble) nitrogen. Quick release nitrogen normally causes a response in a week or less, whereas slow release nitrogen will cause a response in three to 10 weeks or more. Quick release nitrogen is inexpensive and may burn leaf blades if applied improperly. Slow release forms tend to be more expensive, but will rarely burn leaf blades even when applied at temperatures above 85°. Both forms can and should be used on fields.

Fertilizing with phosphorus and potassium is also important in maintaining a healthy field. The best way to determine how much phosphorus and potassium to apply annually is to follow the recommendations of a soil test. In lieu of a soil test, a general recommendation is to apply 1/4 as much phosphorus and 1/3 as much potassium as nitrogen. For instance, if you apply 40 pounds Nitrogen per year, you should apply 10 lb Phosphorus and 30lb Potassium per year.

On Kentucky bluegrass or tall fescue fields, it is best to fertilize lightly in spring and early summer, little to none in summer, and heavy in fall. A heavy fall fertilization program will produce the healthiest turf throughout the year.

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Why ProMow?

Why ProMow?

The desire to have a lawn that would look like a fine manicured golf course and allow time to enjoy family and friends, led to the first ProMow Gang Reel Mower. The inventor, Doug Short, had built a nice home with a large lawn surrounding a pond, hoping to provide a nice residence and recreational area for his family. Doug soon found that this was what he dreamed of, except for the amount of time that it required to maintain this property. Sad to say, he discovered it required most of his off-work time to just cut the lawn.

The desire to save time to enjoy with his family, motivated him to find a way to correct this problem.

Doug came up with the idea of arranging 7 reels in a framing system to pull behind his lawn mower tractor. Ground driven reels were chosen to eliminate the need for gasoline engines to power the reels. He soon found a traction problem as the reels were not heavy enough to keep the wheels from slipping when cutting grass. Unable to find affordable heavy reels, he discovered a way to mount the lighter reels to a frame that would create down pressure to keep the wheels from slipping. Light reels also gave him the ability to utilize his lawn tractor to cut when the lawn was wet.

What started out as a personal need, soon developed into a business that supplied individuals in the area. Neighbors noticed the quality of cut and the reduced mowing time Doug’s gang reel mower provided. They wondered, Where could I buy this new style mower? Doug soon realized from the local demand, others could also benefit from the gang reel mower. As demand increased, a decision was made to take the product to the world. ProMow has supplied mowers to nearly every state in the union and 17 countries. We have found demand for this product with the homeowner, (large or small), athletic fields, and light commercial applications. There is no application too large or too smallfor the ProMow Gang Reel Mower. The ProMow Gang Reel Mower saves time and fuel, and is affordable!

Once again, Doug has proven, all things are possible if you desire it enough to go for it. Many are now enjoying Doug’s dream: more time for things that are most important!

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Testimonials

Testimonials

Hi,

My name is Alan Shaw and I live in the Pinehurst Area of North Carolina.  I purchased my pro-mow flex 58 4 years ago to maintain my yard as close to golf course conditions as possible.  Attached are two pictures that will show why I am a very satisfied customer of your company.

I am far from mechanically inclined, yet I am able to do all of the maintenance that is required including the backlapping to keep the cutting edge in top form.  I cut at 1/2 inch and have 419 Bermuda Grass.

The guys in the parts department are top-notch.  I have purchased a few parts but most importantly, they have provided technical assistance in a most pleasant manner when I need to ask a question.

I mow about 2 acres and in the growing season, I am mowing every other day.  Color me a very satisfied customer and thanks for your support.

Alan Shaw
West End, N.C.

October 24, 2007

ProMow Inc.
8318 Clinton Park Drive
Fort Wayne, IN  46825
Attn:  Brad Bauman

Dear Mr. Bauman,

As owner of a small budget driving range, it is extremely important to me to be able to mow in a timely and efficient manner.  With fourteen acres that needs mowed twice a week it is a major time commitment, especially with a full time job.
Fortunately, I already owned an older turf series 9’ 8” model.  In 2002 I purchased a Gold series 11’ 4” model.  With the gold series I can mow the entire range in three hours.  My ProMow mower is not only fast, but the cut and appearance is exceptional.  This unit gives the country club look at a tremendous value.
Currently, I am building a hitch to connect two of the 11’ 4” mowers together to make an even larger chunk of time from the mowing schedule.  This will enable me to do what the range was started for, to play more golf.

Sincerely,

Jeff Bovee
Birdie Hill Driving Range
5300 S. 1100 E.
Wolcottville, IN  46795

Approximately a month ago, I purchased the ProMow push reel mower. My grass has never been healthier or looked better. My neighbor will probably be contacting you, as he was amazed when I showed him the even cut and “green” tip on my clippings, as opposed to his frayed cut and “brown” ends.

Your mower has made me feel good about my yard, and myself. Since I am not using a gas-powered engine, I am environment friendly, not to mention the savings based on the price of gas these days. Also, although the mower is lightweight and easy to push, I am getting exercise when I cut my grass as opposed to standing behind a self-propelled polluting machine. ProMow has positively impacted my bottom line and my waistline. Thank you.

The ProMow mower is silent and allows me to cut my grass when it is still wet, so I can cut on my schedule. I control my mowing, my mowing does not control me. If you ever need a reference for your product, please feel free to use me anytime. Thank you for your excellent product.

Linda Barron
Fort Wayne, IN

Before I purchased the mower I used to dread mowing my property because it would take the better part of a day. Now I can mow the entire lawn in about an hour or less! The performance of the mower has exceeded my expectations.

Dr.Stanley W. Bohnstedt,
Portland, OR

“This device has allowed me to cut mowing time in one third. It leaves your turf professional looking and healthy.”

Andrew P. Owen, Head Baseball Coach
Snider High School, Fort Wayne, IN

“Because of the rain we have had this year, I have been mowing at least two times every week. What normally took me over 7 hours with my 20 horse power deck mower now takes me about 1 hour. Thanks to ProMow, I have one of the best looking lawns in Noble County.”

Joe Saggars, President of
Communications Wiring Specialists
Ligonier, IN

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Reel Mowers vs. Rotary Mowers

Reel Mowers vs. Rotary Mowers

Be the envy of your neighbors with the Reel Cut!

We deliver a superior cut at a cost anyone can afford. The scissor (reel) cut seals the tip of the grass as it cuts, reducing moisture loss. You will find that your turf will stay greener than the turf cut with a rotary type mower. The rotary cut is a whipping type cut that can leave a jagged tip, which will allow for excessive dry out of the blade of grass. This can be the cause of the yellow or brown color in the grass. A good example of this would be a comparison to a tree that has a limb broken off from a storm. It leaves a jagged stump that will dry out. To minimize dry out, the stump is cut off straight with a saw. Much the same with grass blades.

You will also find, with the reel cut, there will be no wind rowing or bunching of cut grass as it all goes directly behind the reel. If there is cut grass on the surface it can be disposed of by making another pass with your mower at a different angle re-cutting the clippings to where they will virtually disappear. There is no need to bag or rake the clippings. Clippings are good for the grass as they contain many nutrients that grass can use. The reel is the choice of the Pro’s, the results are the key, greener and healthier turf.

YOU CAN SEE THE DIFFERENCE!!

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Cost, Time, and Environmental Savings | The ProMow Test

Savings

The ProMow Test

provided by: Steven Horney, Mechanical Engineer

 

When Doug Short, owner and CEO of ProMow, told me he thought his reel mower systems were more efficient and used less fuel than rotary mowers, I was both interested and a little skeptical. As an engineer, I like to see data to back up such claims.

Well, I finally got my opportunity. Doug invited me to participate in a test he and the company manager were going to perform.

In the test we compared the fuel usage of a lawn tractor running its four-foot-wide rotary deck against the same tractor pulling a 12-foot-wide ProMow reel system (with the rotary deck disengaged.) The results of the test was well beyond what I expected.

Going the same distance (approximately the length of two soccer fields each way) the ProMow unit required only two-thirds of a cup of gasoline while the tractor cutting with its rotary blade used a full cup of fuel.

In other words, the same tractor cut three times as much as grass (12-feet compared to four-feet) in two-thirds the amount of fuel. The savings cannot only be measured in fuel consumption, but in emissions as well. Because mowing time is cut by 66-percent, then there is two-thirds less time the tractor is polluting the air. Put another way, the ProMow reel system mowed 4.5 times as much grass on the same amount of fuel with the tractor in question _ basically a garden tractor.

This was a limited test and results could vary, but the ProMow reel system offers the promise of significant savings in fuel, emissions and mowing time.

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The Demand for Reel (Gang Mowers) | The Reel Blade

The Demand Is For Reel (Gang Mowers)

With time and image being a top priority, the Gang Reel Mower meets the demands of today’s buyers. Keeping that in mind, your reel mower is not just a weed wacker. It’s truly a finish cut mower. They have a scissor like cut that doesn’t traumatize the grass blades (eliminating brown ends).

Your gang reel mower will save you both time and money compared to traditional deck mowers. The Gang Reel Mower, just like the ones groundskeepers at the best golf courses around the world use, gives you a professionally manicured lawn quickly and easily at your home.

Some have zero turning radius and full reverse capabilities. Maneuvering around trees, flower beds or the occasional abandoned bicycle can now be a breeze.

Safety is a feature with a reel mower. No flying objects to harm the children, pets, siding or windows.

Also, from a environmental stand point, they are very friendly (another plus). They are fuel efficient (using 1/2 the gas), use less oil and they reduce and wear tear on your lawn tractor. After mowing up to 5 acres per hour going 4 MPH (= brisk walk) with a 10 HP tractor, some just simply fold up for easy storage. Sharpening is done by a system called ” back-lapping”, many times provided in a kit for the do it yourself individual.

Gang Reel Mowers are time tested quality products; environmentally responsible, give a golf course look, provide adjustable cutting, have less down time, come with float and flex ability and best of all, They Give You Time to Enjoy Other Activities.

Reel Mowers have come a long way since your grandpa’s day. Yet, the original “Reel” features remain true, giving us the benefits we desire with the added modern conveniences we expect.

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An Attractive, Healthy Lawn Is More Than Just Pleasing To The Eye | The Archbold Buckeye

An Attractive, Healthy Lawn Is More Than Just Pleasing To The Eye

provided by: The Archbold Buckeye

 

During the summer months, many homeowners spend a few hours each week working in their yards for the benefit of having a finely-groomed plot of grass.

However, a healthy lawn is more than just pleasing to the eye.

Lawns play a vital role in maintaining a healthy and safe environment by cooling our neighborhoods, replenishing our oxygen supply, filtering our air and reducing noise pollution.

Additionally lawns that are free of weeds and mowed regularly protect allergy sufferers from weed pollen, help absorb smog-produced ozone and add to a home’s value.

Having a healthy lawn begins with using proper mowing techniques.

  • Maintain a regular mowing schedule to keep grass at desired height. Removing more than one-third of the grass’ height can weaken its protection against disease and drought.
  • Mow when grass is dry for a cleaner cut.
  • Alternate mowing patterns to avoid uneven wear on the lawn.
  • Keep the lawn mower blades sharp. Dull blades tear grass, leaving it susceptible to disease and drought.
  • Leave the grass clippings on the ground. Grass clippings are 85 to 90 percent water, and “grass cycling” returns this water to the soil.
  • “Grass cycling” also eliminates yard waste and serves as mulch to keep the ground cooler.
  • Consider using a reel, push-type mower for a clean, scissor-cut.

The action of a reel mower sutures grass blades, helping grass retain much-needed moisture, unlike the rotary-action of power mowers, which rips and tears the grass blades, leaving them more vulnerable to disease.

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Reel Fast Mowing | Popular Mechanics

Reel Fast Mowing

provided by: Popular Mechanics

written by: Roy Berendsohn – Associate Home Improvement Editor

As printed in the May 1996 Popular Mechanics

 

The ProMow gang mower system is designed to give you maximum cutting width with light weight, so you can pull it with any standard lawn tractor. The smallest model delivers an 8-1/2-ft. – wide cut path and can be pulled with a 5-horsepower tractor, while the largest requires only 11-horsepower and cuts a 12-ft. – wide path. The mower system ranges in cost of $1,250 for the smallest residential mower to about $3,000 for the largest commercial model (plus shipping). WE show a midrange model with a 9-ft – wide cut path, costing about $1,700. The residential models have five blades per head, while the professional models have six blades. Tires get larger and wider, and metal components get heavier, as you move up the line. This results in heads weighing 25 pounds on the residential end and 70 pounds at the commercial level. The heads fold up for efficient storage. Each cutting head is a reel mower and the tube-steel frame allows each head to flex so it produces a smooth cut over bumps and hollows. The system is sold at outdoor-equipment dealers. To find a dealer, contact ProMow Inc., 8318 Clinton Park Dr., Fort Wayne, IN 46825.

 

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