Turfgrass managers and researchers are talking mowing, and in some innovative ways. Fraze mowing is gaining traction in managed turfgrass areas for weed control, thatch removal and resurfacing projects. Simply put, fraze mowing (sometimes spelled fraise or fraize) is the use of a rotary spindle with tines or blades for the purpose of removing the top layer of organic matter accumulation. Some surface soil may also be removed based on depth of fraze mowing.
Formerly this process was used primarily in preparation for sod or reseeding, but in recent years, fraze mowing has been used to eliminate some weeds, stimulate turfgrass growth and improve infiltration and soil oxygen levels. Another benefit, especially for sports turf or golf courses, is the smoothing of minor playing surface undulations.
A couple of considerations for fraze mowing include: you’ll need a plan for the debris you remove (composting or other disposal); a window of “healing” for the area with no use; choose the proper depth/aggressiveness of fraze mowing for its intended purpose.