Can fraze mowing be an alternative to aerification?

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Fraze mowers are aggressive, tractor-mounted implements that can remove plant and soil material from depths of 0 to 2 inches (5 centimeters).

Compaction from routine traffic in turfgrass systems is usually confined to the surface 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) of the soil profile, which overlaps with fraze mower functional depths.

This study was conducted to evaluate fraze mowing as a viable cultivation method to remove surface compaction beneath Tifway hybrid bermudagrass.

A trial was conducted in 2018 on a sandy soil in Jackson Springs, N.C. Plots were subjected to increasing levels of simulated traffic (0 passes = untreated; 20 passes = 40 American football games; 30 passes = 60 games) with a modified Baldree traffic simulator. All plots were then fraze-mowed at depths of 1 or 2 inches (2.5 or 5 centimeters), and measurements were made following traffic simulation and fraze mowing.

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