Five years ago SISIS North America was delighted to supply an Auto-Rotorake to the University of Florida. The Auto-Rotorake fitted with the verti-cutting reel was the only de-thatcher used for a research project into UltraDwarf grasses. The Auto-Rotorake has proved very reliable over the length of the project and was found to be the most effective treatment for the removal and control of the build-up of excess organic matter.
An abstract from John Rowland’s thesis is given below and we are grateful to him for allowing us to publish it.
IMPACT AND CONTROL OF ORGANIC MATTER IN USGA ULTRADWARF BERMUDAGRASS GREENS
Ultradwarf bermudagrasses are commonly used for golf course putting greens in Florida due to their ability to tolerate high temperatures and low mowing heights for fast green speeds. Their dense growth habits can cause excessive organic matter build-up above and below the soil line, negatively affecting surface and soil characteristics. This experiment was conducted to evaluate seasonal impacts of commonly used cultural management practices on United States Golf Association ultradwarf bermudagrass putting green properties to determine optimum timing and effectiveness of treatments. Three ultradwarf varieties (‘FloraDwarf’, ‘TifEagle’, and ‘Champion’) were subjected to six cultural management treatments: Hollow tine aerification (one, two, or three times yearly), deep verti-cutting (three times yearly), solid tine aerification (five times yearly), and an untreated control. Verti-cutting and hollow tine aerification 3x reduced shoot counts in the Spring/Summer study. Verti-cutting had higher volumetric water content than hollow tine aerification 3x in the Spring/Summer and Summer/Fall studies. Since verti-cutting had the firmest surface, least mower scalping and localized dry spot, and eventually
had higher quality, water-holding capacity, and fewer clippings it was the most beneficial treatment.”