February 28, 2018
  With the Maryland SoccerPlex 
A weekly newsletter to keep you informed about EVERYTHING Turf at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
This week we see take a look at some of the upgrades our grounds crew just got for their mowers!
Fancy and new! 
Everybody loves new "toys", especially our grounds crew! We have recently upgraded our four field mowers! We periodically (typically every 5-6 years) upgrade our mowers for a few different reasons, including increasing the quality of cut (producing a better finish on the fields) and also increasing the size of the mowers.
We have two different types of mowers, the first type are rotary mowers. Rotary mowers are like traditional lawn mowers in the sense that there is one blade that spins around to cut the grass. These rotary mowers are what we use to mow our 11 cool-season fields, we use the rotary mowers on the cool-season fields because of the slightly higher height-of-cut (between 1" and 1-1/2") and their ability to "stand the grass up", due to the vacuum created under the decks. 

We now have 2 new John Deere 9009A Rotary Mowers with a cutting width of 108 inches, compared to our previous rotary mowers had a width of 88 inches, we are anticipating a time-savings of an average of 3 hours every day that we mow our cool-season fields.  This is key because it then allows our two staff members an additional 3 hours each day to spend working directly on fields, instead of being tied-up on a mower. The new mowers are also equipped with a "final tier 4" diesel engine, which gives off extremely low levels of emissions making the mower not as harmful to the environment! The John Deere 9009A also has a unique ability in which it has a hydraulic pressure down on the mowing deck so the surface being mowed is as evenly cut as possible. 
Different cut, different mower!
Our Bermuda fields have different type s of cutting unit known as a reels. Reel mowers are made with the same basic technology as the mowers our grandparents used, but now with much more advance technology. The blades are cylindrical, and spin around at a very high rate, making contact with what is called the bedknife, and this creates a scissor like action to give a finer cut to the turf. This is important for our Bermuda grass for a couple reasons, one being that we mow our Bermudagrass at a much lower HOC (cutting height) as low as ½" and secondly when Bermuda grows, it does not grow straight up and down like cool-season grass does! 

The two new mowers for our warm season fields are the John Deere 8900A units, which have a cutting with of 130 inches each, compared to 100" cutting width of our previous units.  This again creates a significant time-savings every time we mow, freeing up our staff to get the important detail work done on the fields. This mower also has the final tier 4 engine, and hydraulic ability to ensure an even cut across all fields. The John Deere 8900A mowers are used to cut all 7 of our Bermuda fields.
Next Week
Stay tuned for next week's version of Turf Talk where we give you some tips for the upcoming spring and your lawn! 
Ask Us Your Questions
Do you have a burning turfgrass related question? Ask us! We will be happy to answer it in future iterations of Turf Talk - just email us at info@mdsoccerplex.org, subject line Turf Talk Question.
Many Thanks to Fine Earth Landscape, Inc. for 
Their Continued Support of the Maryland SoccerPlex.

Learn more about Fine Earth here.