FINDING ANSWERS

BUFFALOED

Q

Where can I find information about a turf-management program I can use on buffalograss for golf course turf? — San Antonio, Texas

A

University of Nebraska has taken the lead on buffalograss selection and management research over the years. Buffalograss is a native grass in this area of the United States. In fact, it is one of the few native U.S. grasses that we use for turf.

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The University of Nebraska Extension Service published an excellent piece on buffalograss establishment and mature-turf management entitled “Buffalograss: A Warm-Season Native Grass for Turf,” EC92-1245. You can access this piece at http://www.ianr.unl.edu/pubs/horticulture/g1297.htm or by contacting the University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension Division, 211 Agricultural Hall, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, 68583-0703; or calling 402-472-2966.

GANGING UP

Q

I have a 3-gang hydraulically driven reel mower used in a fine turf application. The units have been cutting uneven or step cutting. Can you explain why? — via the Internet

A

Your problem could be that the cutting units are out of adjustment. You will need to have the bed knife adjusted to the reel or vice versa, depending on the mower design. Check the height of cut and make sure all three units are set exactly the same. If the reel is too tight against the bedknife, you might want to backlap the units. I suggest using an 8o-grit lapping compound. Some other things affecting this problem might be going too fast on turns; the ideal mowing speed is 3 to 5 mph. The areas you're mowing may be uneven with small depressions; topdressing these areas will help to eliminate the unevenness. A heavy buildup of thatch could also be contributing to your problem. Vertical mowing during the year will help to suppress and control it. The last thing to consider is the down pressure exerted on your units. You may need to simply make an adjustment. Be sure to follow the instructions in your owner's manual to get the correct down pressure on the units.

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