On June 1st we felt the greens had healed from aerification enough to begin grooming (vertical mowing) in addition to the standard horizontal mowing to help remove some of the horizontally growing turf. The grooming mower has blades on a 1/8″ spacing and cuts down below the surface of the green into the canopy of the grass. These blades cut/stand up some of the horizontally growing grass which is then put in the mower bucket. The grooming process is typically followed by a single or double cut with a greens mower depending on the amount of grass that is groomed. Lastly, the green is rolled smooth.
In addition to grooming we have changed to a stiffer brush on the front of the greens mowers to help stand up the long, horizontally growing blades before we mow. Brushing can only be done when the temperatures are not extremely hot and/or we are not experiencing wet conditions. This has allowed us to use the brushes a few times per week. These processes can be quite disruptive to the surface, especially when not done for an extended period of time. The past two days we have groomed and brushed the greens, thus green speeds may be slow for a day or two until we can mow a few times to perfect the putting surface. The long term result of this process leaves more room in the canopy for new smaller plants to grow, increasing the density of the greens surface. For the golfer, this will assist in providing a “true, firm and speedy” putting surface.