Impressive win for Husqvarna Automower®
It’s showtime! The time has come to get real, the results are in. After three months, we finally have our answer to the question: Will a football pitch cared for by an Automower® robotic mower deliver a better turf than one mowed with a conventional rotary mower? Our judge and jury, back at the scene of the crime, is Simeon Liljenberg, Head Groundsman at Sweden’s national football stadium, Friends Arena. Ready? Here we go.
For three months during the strange and challenging spring and summer of 2020, the main football pitch of Månsarp IF in Sweden has been doubly cared for. On one side, by a conventional rotary mower, on the other – a Husqvarna 550 Automower® robotic mower.
It’s been said that the proof of the pudding is in the eating, now the proof of the mowing is in the health of the pitch, a pitch carefully measured and controlled by Simeon Liljenberg.
After three months and a couple of days, Simeon has returned to Månsarp to see whether there’s any noticeable difference between the two sides.
“The very first thing I noticed, was the difference in colour of the two sides. The Automower® side struck me as a darker green, with less yellow in it, which instantly tells me that it’s healthier.”
This, however, isn’t proof enough. So, Simeon set about to measure with the expert tools of his trade. The state of the plants and the soil, the overall well-being of the two sides is carefully monitored and compared. And, after a mere three months, there are noticeable differences between the side that’s been cared for by Automower® and the one cut with the rotary mower.
The Automower® side displays blades of grass with razor sharp cuts whereas the other side – from time to time – looks as if they’ve been more torn or shredded than cut. The “ripping” of the grass creates unnecessary stress for the grass, making the lawn or pitch more susceptible to diseases and fungal growth. Reduced damage to every individual plant produces an overall healthier, greener result.
”A sharp, clean cut makes it easier for the plant to grow”, says Simeon. “Dull cuts can lead to degeneration and – in the worst case – the trauma to the plant will weaken it, making it less resilient.”
The root depth
Simeon’s examination data shows that the grass on the side cut with Automower® displays deeper roots, on average 2 centimetres deeper. Deeper roots are a sign of a healthier and more resilient plant.
The soil conditions
The side of the pitch cared for with a conventional mower is decidedly harder than the Automower® side. The turf surface is more compact and has less “give”, something Simeon determines with the use of a Clegg Hammer and by bouncing a football. Another noticeable difference in favour of the Automower® side.
Better sport conditions
A hard victory for Team Automower® then. And a win for football pitch managers all over the world, who stand to gain from switching from conventional mowing to Husqvarna Automower® robotic mowers. Not only by a better looking and performing pitch, but just as much from fewer man-hours spent on manual mowing. In the case of Månsarp, the time spent on caring for the conventionally mowed side amounts to about 40 hours, during the three-month trial period.
“Yes, indeed”, says Simeon. “The differences are quite clear, and my expert opinion is that the Automower® side is healthier overall, that it needs less irrigation, which would save on water in general. Simply put, Automower® has done a better job, delivering much better results and a better pitch.”