Thursday, August 17, 2017

How Do I Create a Sports Turf Divot Mix?

I get this question a number of times during my travels?  How do handle the bare areas on my field?  With fall sports beginning, let's look at how to create a divot mix.

This is a major problem on cool season athletic fields.  All it takes is a simple blend of 2-3 products.

First, place topsoil and if you have it available, peat on the grounds shop floor.



Next, add seed at a rate equal to the soil/peat blend.  Yes, I know this is a lot of seed, but being aggressive with seeding rates are critical in high traffic areas.



Blend all the materials together with a shovel and place in a bucket.



Finally, place in the bare area.  Using some type of aerification before seeding is the best approach.  In this case, a pitch fork provided the aerification.


Creating a seed bank in cool season athletic fields are critical to achieving 100% cover.  Don't be afraid to seed frequently.

Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer


Monday, August 14, 2017

Overseeding Cool Season Athletic Fields

The overseeding window for cool season sports turf is open for many across the Midwest.  Lack of overseeding athletic fields and overseeding at the incorrect rates can be major reasons why athletic fields fail.  HERE is a great article from Pat Sherratt at Ohio State University.  HERE is a link from an earlier post on the SmartTurf Blog regarding overseeding.


Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Thursday, July 13, 2017

How to Pull an Infield Mix Sample

Pulling an infield mix sample is critical to determining the best approach to adding new infield mix to an existing infield.  Pulling a sample is a relatively easy process, below are the steps.

#1 - Have a bucket and a shovel ready:


#2 - Push all conditioner to the side - do not include this material with the sample:


#3 - Pull 4-8 samples across the infield at a four inch depth - this is the depth that the infield will be tilled/blended.  Note in the photo below a clear layering of infield mixes is present:


#4 - Agitate the samples and fill 1/2 of a one gallon freezer bag.  Now you have your sample ready for testing:


Consistency in testing is critical for amending infields.  All of our samples go to Turf and Soil Diagnostics.

Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
-Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Infield Mix Drainage - Do Not Use Gravel as a French Drain!

At multi-field complexes, drainage along the backstops can be challenging due to elevations of the press box building and bleacher areas of a facility.  There are many ways to design/drain the facility. One way I would not recommend is using a stone "french" drain as is shown in the photo below:


This drain will move water.  The problem?  The stone will migrate into the infield.  Stone is already present on this infield before the facility hosted its first game.

Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Baseball and Softball Infield Drainage - Do’s and Dont’s - Architect Blueprint

We have discussed infield mix drainage in past posts of the SmartTurf Blog.

Today, I wanted to share a photo from an unnamed architect that shows a cross section of infield mix drainage on a plan approved for construction.


Will this work?  Of course not.  Yet another reason why synthetic turf infields are becoming more popular for baseball infields.  If natural soil/engineered soil infields cannot be designed properly, they are doomed to fail.

Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Saturday, June 17, 2017

#LifeOnTheRoad - Building an On-Site Sod Farm

This is another post in a periodic series entitled #LifeOnTheRoad.  The background is simple.  During my travels I  encounter many grounds managers/coaches doing great things.  Because of this, I have started this series.  The goal - expose more grounds managers, coaches, architects, etc to areas of facility and sports turf maintenance that may be implemented to their facility/design.


Many times, having an on site sod farm at a facility is a great idea.  A small amount of sod that is under a program similar to the playing surface will allow for quick in season repairs with sod that will be comparable to the existing turf on the field.  Here are a couple shot of the sod farm outside of Marlins Park:



The sod farm is fully irrigated and on the same fertility program as the playing surface.  It is also maintained at the same cutting height.  There are two types of sod due to the fact that both 419 bermudagrass and paspalum are grown at Marlins Park.

Here is a photo of the sod farm at Parkview Field, home of the Ft Wayne TinCaps.  Although it is smaller in area, it serves the same purpose as the farm in Miami.



Is an on site sod farm a fit at your facility?

Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Windscreen - Measure Correctly for a Proper Fit

During my travels I visit a number of fields that have windscreen that is not properly measured to fit the fence.  Below are two examples - one incorrectly measured and one correctly measured.

In the first example notice the windscreen and how the material is too long for the fence.  This results in the windscreen touching the turf.  This not only looks poor, but also will be a candidate to be hit with a mower or string trimmer.


In the second example notice the room at both the top and bottom of the windscreen.  This allows for the windscreen to stretched tight while also allowing clearance for mowers and string trimmers.


Bottom line, properly measured and installed windscreen can really give a field a "professional look" while also providing a better background for the players and the umpires.

Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer