Tuesday, March 19, 2019

University of Pittsburgh Softball Infield Renovation

This past fall the J&D Turf team traveled to Pittsburgh, PA to renovate the softball infield  for Pitt Softball.  Let’s take a closer look

Vartabedian Field was completed in 2011. The infield originally had a “local” harvested infield mix with a wax coating. Additional engineered infield mix was added on top of the original mix. The grade became too steep and the profile took moisture inconsistently due to the coated material under the engineered mix. 

The solution?  Take out all the existing infield mix and get back to the sub base and install a new 4 inch column of Dura Edge Collegiate infield mix on a .5% conical grade.   

The existing infield mix was removed and recycled using an excavator. 








The sub base was laser graded to mirror the finish grade using crushed limestone as the sub base prior to adding the DuraEdge. 




The DuraEdge was installed, laser graded and compacted.




After DuraEdge installation the infield was conditioned with calcined clay.






Pitt Panther Softball will have an excellent infield for spring 2019. 

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

Play on!
—Jamie

@JamieMehringer

Monday, January 28, 2019

Basic Tools for Mound and Plate Maintenance

The tools listed below are the basics needed for mound and plate clay maintenance. 

 

1. A pump up hand sprayer for wetting down both the existing and the new clay
2. A garden weasel. Great for working in new clay. (This tool is also great for overseeding small areas)
3. A hula hoe for shaving down any high spots
4. A hand tamp wrapped to prevent clay from sticking to the bottom. - HERE is another way to wrap a tamp
5. A tine rake to also assist in shaving down high spots. HERE is a great trick to sharpen a tine rake
6. 36 inch landscape rake. This is a workhorse of baseball/softball field maintenance. This tool will assist in leveling and smoothing both infield mixes, mound clays and conditioners
7. Blackstick Mound Clay. A great gumbo clay for high traffic areas. 

** A couple of other critical tools not pictured are a broom and scoop shovel. Click HERE to see a step by step description on repairing a plate area. 





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

Play on!
—Jamie

@JamieMehringer

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

#LifeOnTheRoad - Windscreen Under Bleachers

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.

A quick photo from the Shelbyville (IN) High School football field. A couple simple windscreens with the school mascot can really make an area under the bleachers pop!  



Contact your ATS/J&D Turf rep for your windscreen needs. 

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Friday, January 11, 2019

The #SmartTurf Blog is Back

The #SmartTurf Blog is Back

Welcome back to the #SmartTurf Blog. 2018 was a period of great growth and change within both J&D Turf and Advanced Turf Solutions (ATS). J&D Turf is the maintenance, construction and consulting arm of ATS. ATS is the sports turf distribution arm providing product, equipment and accessories to the sports turf market with unparalleled service. 

Looking for service work or products?  Call a member of the ATS Sports Turf Sales team to offer assistance. 

So 2019 brings the relaunch of the SmartTurf Blog. You will still see educational content and how-to information. Also, you will continue to see the popular “LifeOnTheRoad” series. New this year will topical sports turf news stories and guest bloggers from both the ATS Sports Turf Sales team and sports turf managers in the industry. Here’s to a great 2019 and sharing ideas on the SmartTurf Blog. 

Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.
  
Play on!
—Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Lafayette Central Catholic - Sand Channel Drainage – Spartan Sand Cap – A Case Study #4 – In Season Play



Practice began on the new surface on August 1, 2017.  The first game took place on August 18, 2017.  The surface had a shear strength in excess of 30 ft lbs.  We knew it would play well, but even our team was surprised by the results.



Here is the field in mid September after 10 events.




Per the plan, the surface was overseeded with Barenbrug HGT Bluegrass in early September with a goal of creating a “Bluemuda” playing surface.  A small amount of ryegrass was added for additional color.  Here is what the soccer goal area looked like after the soccer season.


Here is a recap of the grow-in.

 


The playing surface hosted 50 events (games and practices) from August 1 – Nov 1, 2017.  Why was it successful?

1.      The new surface had a good surface grade.
2.     The new drainage system provided a “rain out proof” playing surface, thus there was never a rain game to tear up the surface.
3.     A blend of warm season and cool season turf provided superior shear strength and wear tolerance to extreme play.

In conclusion, a $130,000 investment provided a rain out proof surface that hosted 50 games and practices in fall 2017.  Quite the return on the investment. 

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer




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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Lafayette Central Catholic - Sand Channel Drainage – Spartan Sand Cap – A Case Study #3 – Grow In


Following the drainage install, it was time to grass and grow in the playing surface.  A granular Ronstar application was made prior to Northbridge bermudagrass sprig installation by Grassmaster Turf Farm on June 7, 2017.  Opening Day was approx 8 weeks away.


Following sprig installation, a heavy watering cycle took place for 14 days.  After the sprigs began to green up the surface was placed on an aggressive grow in program consisting of Foliar-Pak Grow In and Ammonium Sulfate.  Weekly applications were made and the field was mowed 3 times per week at a 7/8 inch cutting height.



June 7, 2017 at Sprigging





June 17, 2017






June 20, 2017




 July 5, 2017
 August 8, 2017




The playing surface as of August 8, 2017 was perfect.  The next question was “How well will it play?”



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



Play on!

--Jamie

@JamieMehringer
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Monday, July 30, 2018

Lafayette Central Catholic – Sand Channel Drainage – Spartan Sand Cap – A Case Study #2 – Renovation Process


After the decision was made to install sand trenches and create a 2 inch sand cap, it was time to go to work.

The existing bluegrass/ryegrass/tall fescue surface was sprayed with Glyphosate in mid april and early May to ensure complete kill/control of the undesired playing surface.  Next, the surface was fraze mowed and recycled.



New irrigation laterals and heads were installed.



Finally, in late May, the drainage was installed on 14 ft centers and tied into existing perimeter drainage.






So, the heavy lifting was complete, now it was time to install the 2 inch cap of USGA rootzone sand, sprig with Northbridge bermudagrass and begin the grow-in.

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer