Thursday, July 23, 2015

Bermuda Grass - The Tale of 2 Cultivars

Across the transition zone, there are many sports turf managers maintaining bermuda grass.  The question that is often asked is, "What cultivar is best for my field?"

That question is difficult to answer for many reasons.  Should I be growing and maintaining Patriot, Latitude 36, Northbridge or Riviera?  Well, it will often be determined by budget, expectations and availability.  

This is the first post of many this year where I will follow 2 cultivars through the growing season.  Latitude 36 and Riviera were sodded at a football field in Indianapolis.  Riviera has been used in the past.  Why?  Simply stated we have found that the plants grow closer the ground thus overseeding is a bit easier to accomplish.  Why is this important?  The field is overseeded during the entire football season with the Riviera base in place for stability.  Latitude 36 was sodded on the edge of the field for the first time this year.  Why?  Simply to determine if the grass will meet or exceed Riviera in 3 main categories:

1. Summer density
2. Success of overseeding
3. Winter survival

I will be following this field closing and reporting frequently on the progress.  


Close-up look at Latitude 36 density


Latitude on L on Riviera on R - Note color and density

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Depth of Infield Conditioners - It Depends on the Infield Mix and the Level of Play


With the extremely wet conditions across the country, I figured today would be a good day to visit and discuss conditioner depth.  As a rule of thumb, most fields across the country do not have enough conditioner/topdressing on infield surfaces.

Infield conditioners are a critical tool for effective infield maintenance.  How deep should the conditioner be on a given field?  The answer depends on the level of play as well as the base soil.  
The first photo shows an infield that has a mix with a high silt to clay ratio (SCR - 2.5).  The field also hosts high school and recreational play.  In this example, a greater amount of conditioner should be used.  Approximately 1/4 inch of conditioner is the recommended depth for the surface.


The next example shows an infield with an engineered soil with a balanced silt to clay ratio (SCR - 1.0)  The field hosts professional play.  In this example, a lesser amount of conditioner should be used.  Approximately 1/8 inch of conditioner is the recommended depth for the surface.  


Bottom line, in the instances below a greater depth of conditioner should be considered :
  • Infield mixes with a high SCR
  • Difficulty in keeping moisture in an infield (recreational play)
  • Infield mixes with a great amount of fine and very fine sand
  • Infield mixes that tend to become too firm in dry weather
The goal is to create a top 1/4 inch that is managed to allow for cleat-in and cleat-out play as illustrated in the photo below:


To learn more about conditioners, click HERE.
To learn more about silt to clay ratio, click HERE.
Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.
Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer  

Thursday, July 16, 2015

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

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Goosegrass - A Troublesome Summer Annual


I have had a number of recent phone calls from sports turf managers asking about goosegrass.  The Purdue University Turfgrass Department recently posted a turf tip in regards to goosegrass.  Click HERE to see the post from Aaron Patton, Turfgrass Extension Specialist.

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Weed Control for Infields and Warning Tracks


Across the country, high school and recreational baseball and softball seasons are starting to come to a close.  Volunteer staffs are heading out to summer vacation and the 4th of July.   Next thing you know your infield looks like the one below:


One way to control weeds (most likely crabgrass and goosegrass) on infields and warning tracks is to apply a tank mixture of glyphosate and Sureguard.  Click HERE to see an earlier post on this topic.

The application will typically give you 80-90% control which is much better than having to remove an infield full of weeds in the fall or early spring.

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Yellow Nutsedge in Present - How Do I Control Nutsedge?

If you are looking at a fast growing sedge, there is a good chance it is yellow nutsedge.  Here is what yellow nutsedge looks like in the field:


How can you control yellow nutsedge?  Purdue Turfgrass and Penn State Turfgrass Extension have the details.

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Infield Mix Drainage


With the recent heavy rains, infield mix drainage has been a hot topic.  Here are photos of 2 fields I have been to this week:



The issues with both fields?  An elevated grass edge "lip" along the back arc the is acting as a dam to hold the water on the infields.  How do you solve this problem?  




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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer