Aeration drag mat

Discussion in 'Sports Field Maintenance' started by snomaha, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. snomaha

    snomaha LawnSite Bronze Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 1,408

    We were awarded the contract to maintain 20 acres of soccer fields this year. The specs require dragging the field after aeration to break up cores. We have a metal drag mat we use to drag dirt after sprinkler installs - I'm afraid it will damage the turf. Has anyone used Core Buster drag mats made of plastic?
     
  2. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,067

    I have not used plastic but the steel chain link types will not damage the field. You need something heavy and will probably need to go over it a couple directions. It will leave a lot of fuzzy material (dead stems and grass clippings you will stir up) on the surface. One mowing should take care of those. FYI, the steel mat will leave a pronounced light/dark striping that may persist through several mowing. Best bet is drag in straight lines. The faster you drag the better it typically works but make your turns slower.front edge of drag mat should be a couple inches off the ground while the bulk of it should lay flat. Mat will be full of junk when you finish. Just lift it with tractor bucket to hand it from a tree with a rope and hot the mat with the back edge of a flat shovel. Most of it will fall out.
     
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  3. dirtguync

    dirtguync LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Good advice if you are going to use a mat. Wait for the cores to dry to a light brown color or until they will crumble in your fingers when squeezed before dragging. I do not drag anymore, just attach an old finish mower to a tractor, adjust the height of cut and cut 2x before going back to a reel mower. Depending on your soil grade, you may have some scalping occur if there are humps or quick changes in ground elevation. This will look bad for a few days but grass is resilient and will grow back fine.

    Have not had the success that I wanted with multiple steel or cocoa mat drags of breaking up the plugs. I would always end up cutting the plugs up with the reel mower, which severely hurt the blade/bedknife sharpness and we only backlap monthly, sharpen and change bedknives yearly.
     
    hort101 likes this.
  4. snomaha

    snomaha LawnSite Bronze Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 1,408

    decided to purchase the core buster drag mat. Have a crew using it for the first time today. dragmat.JPG
     
    hort101 likes this.
  5. Locke Lamora

    Locke Lamora LawnSite Member
    Male, from MA
    Messages: 74

    I am considering this right now, how did it work out??
     
  6. snomaha

    snomaha LawnSite Bronze Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 1,408

    Still hanging on the shop wall - didn't get the results we wanted and discontinued using it. We use the Toro sidewinder 3500D mowers and cut every 3 days at 2", that seems to break them up enough after 2 cuttings.
     
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  7. Locke Lamora

    Locke Lamora LawnSite Member
    Male, from MA
    Messages: 74

    Thanks for letting me know, I'll scratch it off the list. I can't cut at 2 inches at some points during the year until I install some irrigation and get some better topsoil developed. I might try a cocoa mat, it is supposed to be pretty good hiding the top dressing and supposedly okay at breaking up the cores. Have you ever had any experience with one of those?
     

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