Thursday, March 23, 2017

The J&D Turf Infield Mix Moisture and Conditioner Key

How often are the following questions raised?

1. How much conditioner should I apply to an infield?
2. Do I need to add conditioner to my infield?
3. How much water should I add to my infield?
4. Is there enough moisture in my infield profile?

Having a J&D Turf infield moisture and conditioner key will provide a tool to assist in answering these questions.




First, let's talk about infield moisture.  Infield mixes perform best at optimum moisture levels.  HERE is a previous link on watering an infield.  Use the key can check infield moisture levels by using the simple "key test"

"Insert the end of the key into the mix.  The key should slide into the ,ix with relative ease to a depth of 1-2 inches and be removed with disturbing the material.  If the key cannot penetrate the infield mix, the base material is too dry."




Next, let's talk about conditioner depth. HERE is a previous post discussing different infield conditioners.  Infield mixes perform best when conditioners are maintained within a optimum range. That range is 1/4-1/2 inch.  Use the key to determine conditioner depth.

"Insert the key into conditioner and check conditioner depth against the measuring lines at the tip of the key.  The optimum depth is approximately 1/4 inch."




Using the J&D Turf infield mix moisture and conditioner key is #SmartTurf.

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Monday, March 6, 2017

Applying Pre-Emergents to Sports Turf

Spring is just around the corner and with spring comes the arrival of crabgrass control applications. The use of crabgrass pre-emergent herbicides on sports turf must be carefully considered. Will I need to overseed in the spring? Will I need to overseed the entire field or just certain areas? Is the option to overseed more important than crabgrass pressure later in the summer? All good questions, let’s work to an answer.

 HOW DO THE PRODUCTS WORK?
First of all, let’s take a look at how crabgrass pre-emergent products work.
Research has shown that applications should be made when average daily soil temperatures reach 57 to 64 degrees at a 1 inch depth. Following application, a barrier will form that will inhibit crabgrass seedling emergence.
Keep in mind, the barrier will also inhibit grass seed emergence! How do you know when you should apply if you do not want to check daily soil temperatures? Simply go to the Growing Degree Day Tracker. (GDD Tracker) The tracker is a joint effort from Michigan State TurfgrassPurdue Turfgrass and the Midwest Regional Turf Foundation (MRTF). The GDD Tracker will provide updates on when the product needs to be applied. Typically, pre-emergent products need to be applied prior to April 1 in the southern third of the state of Indiana, by April 15 in the middle third, and by April 30 in the northern third.
WHAT ARE THE BEST PRE-EMERGENT OPTIONS?
So, the plan is to apply a crabgrass pre-emergent herbicide product. The timing has been determined. Now the question is, “What product should I apply?”
To keep it simple consider two products:
1. Dithiopyr (Dimension)
2. Prodiamine (Barricade)
Advanced Turf Solutions offers both products. Please call for options as the products are available in both granular and liquid formulations.
I MISSED MY APPLICATION. CAN POST-EMERGENT APPLICATIONS BE MADE?
Yes. Careful consideration should be made to select the best products as some pre-emergent products (Prodiamine) will not be effective. My recommendation for early season (April through early May) is Dithiopyr as the product is effective on crabgrass in the one to three leaf stage. Liquid applications are recommended.
TIP – If dormant seeding was used on the playing surface, a late spring application of Dithiopyr (after the turfgrass seed has germinated) will control young crabgrass while also creating a barrier for any crabgrass seed that has not germinated. Other post-emergent products include Fenoxyprop and Quinclorac (Quin Pro). As always, please check product labels for rates.
TIPS TO REDUCE CRABGRASS PRESSURE:
  • Maintain a dense turf stand
  • Irrigate turfgrass with deep and infrequent cycles
  • More than half of your total nitrogen should be applied from September through November
  • When possible, water in pre-emergent products
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE A PRE-EMERGENT HERBICIDE APPLICATION:
  • Do I need to overseed?
  • Should I avoid high traffic areas where I know I will be overseeding?
  • Would I rather overseed or control crabgrass?

Download the printable Smart Turf sheet - Pre-Emergent Herbicides: Timing is Critical

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Growing Degree Day Tracker - A Great Tool to Use to Determine Application Timing

Exceptional late winter/early spring warm is present across the Midwest.  Due to this, spring applications are weeks ahead of schedule.  A grounds manager can track growing degree days (GDD), but the easiest way to follow the GDD progress is to use the Growing Degree Day Tracker  brought to you by the Midwest Regional Turf Foundation and Purdue Turfgrass.   This tool is a great way to assist you decision making on crabgrass control applications and many other applications of time sensitive products.



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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Adding New Material to a Homeplate Edge


Creating and maintaining clean and smooth edges are critical for a safe and playable surface.  Furthermore, smooth and level edges will ensure successful movement of water via surface drainage. 

Many softball fields have a conical grade.  A conical grade moves water in all directions for a center point on the infield.  Typically the grade is at .3%.  With that said, all edges need to be at grade to allow water to exit the playing surface.  Any irregularities will “create a dam” on the edge.  The following photos were from a recent project on a softball field in Cape Girardeau, MO.


How is this issue repaired?  A few simple grade shots, additional material and a 2x4.

First, grade shots were taken to ensure grades were met via a conical laser at the plate and the grass edge.  Next a 2x4 was used to bridge the area to determine/verify areas that were below grade.





Conditioner/Pro Slide was pulled away to expose the existing infield mix.


DuraEdge Classic was placed and “boarded” to ensure the correct amount of infield mix/DuraEdge Classic was present.


Then, the new material was blended into the existing material with a small tiller.



The material was then re-leveled with the board and rolled.



Finally, the conditioner/Pro Slide was placed back over the area. 


A clean and level edge is now present.


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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Monday, February 13, 2017

Stay Off Turf When Frost is Present

Many areas around the country are beginning to warm.  With that said, frost can still be present in the morning.  Below is a field in Indiana this AM. 

 

This is a reminder to stay off frost covered turf!

For additional information in regards to frost covered turf, click HERE for a publication in regards to turf and frost from the USGA.  Click HERE for a publication from Ohio State University

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Rolling Infields - When? Why? How?


Spring is arriving early in many parts this spring. Many coaches are pushing to get on their infields as soon as possible. 

Regardless of the infield mix, the material will frost heave over the winter. So, you must roll your infield in the spring, ideally before you have any traffic on your infield. Now, the questions are when, why, and how? 



WHEN? 

You will want to roll you infield when there is still moisture in the mix, but the mix is not too wet. When is this? When you can walk across the infield and you settle the frost heave, but there is no material sticking to the bottom of your shoes. Roll the conditioner and mix in multiple passes. 

WHY? 

Rolling accomplishes a couple of goals. First, it settles your infield so your mix will hold its grade and you will not have your conditioner/ topdressing migrate into your base material. Also, the infield mix will also be firmer. This will allow for the ball to play down and true from the beginning of the season. 

HOW? 

It is best to roll with a 3 ton duel drum roller (pictured above). If you can’t get a 3 ton roller, any roller is better than not rolling at all. 

Remember, roll your infield as often as possible with a small pull behind roller as well all spring until the weather moderates. 

Good luck to those groundskeepers and coaches looking to get their fields ready.  

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Infield Not Ready To Roll 

Infield Ready To Roll

Engineered Soil



















Download the printable Smart Turf sheet - Rolling Infields: When, Why, & How

This post original post can be viewed here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

#LifeOnTheRoad - Batting Cage Landscaping

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 into their facility/design.
  
In this post of the #LifeOnTheRoad series we travel to Frankfort Youth Baseball.  A simple installation of arborvitae takes a simple batting cage and makes it more visually appealing while also creating a future "batters eye".  Simple and cost effective.


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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer