Saturday, August 29, 2015

Depth of Conditioner - Be Careful to Avoid Over Topdressing

Infield topdressing should be approx .25-.5 inch in depth.  I was on a site this past week that had an infield with over 1.5 inches of topdressing.  Here were a couple of photos of the infield.



As you can see, the infield was extremely loose, provided poor ball roll and poor footing.  Bottom line - make the investment of a quality engineered infield mix and maintain a proper depth of conditioner.

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fall Renovations - Stop Layering Infield Mixes!

As fall baseball and softball infield renovation season begins, a quick reminder to STOP layering infield mixes.........

Another visit to a troublesome infield, another layered infield mix.

The issue:
"My infield was ok, I had a contractor bring in new material and laser grade my infield.  Since then it has been a mess.  Cannot take rains events, chips out and is almost unplayable when dry."

I took a shovel and dug a hole, here is what was found:


As you can see the infield mix was simply placed over the infield and not tilled/incorporated into the existing infield mix.

The solution:
The quickest fix would be to simply till and laser grade the material.  After that activity, test the material to determine what type of amendment/engineered soil is necessary to "balance out" the sand/silt/clay content of the mix.

Click HERE to see how to add new infield mix to an existing infield mix.
Click HERE to learn more about what makes up an infield mix

Be careful when pricing out renovations.  Not blending a profile will make the process quicker and the grading cheaper, but will leave an infield mix in worse condition that before the work took place.

What should a blended column look like?

Photo Credit - Wes Ganobcik - Columbus Clippers

Note - The top 3-4 inches of the profile is blended together completely.  If using an engineered soil, the top 3-4 inches of an infield mix is the critical material.  This photo as shows how you can amend an infield with removing any infield mix.

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Thursday, August 20, 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 second 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.  

 Latitude 36 on L Riviera on R - Note the Color

Density of the Riviera - Sheer Strength Exceeds 40 ft/lbs

Riviera Prior to First Practice

I will continue to follow both cultivars.  Latitude 36 produces a dense canopy.  Will that prove more difficult to overseed?  Check back as the overseeding process is due to begin in a couple weeks.

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Late Summer/Fall Aerification?


Are you considering core aerification this fall?  If so, please see this article from Karl Danneberger, from Ohio State University aerification.  Click HERE to see the article.  Aerification is a basic cultural practice that all turf managers should make time for at some point during the growing season.  For cool season turf, fall is most often the best time for aerification.  This year across the midwest aerification will be critical as many fields have been sealed off due to the heavy rains.





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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Overseeding Cool Season Turf Athletic Fields


Within the next 1-2 weeks, the overseeding window for cool season sports turf opens 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 30, 2015

Tricks of the Trade - Spreading Fertilizer with a Rotary Spreader

As the late summer fertilizer applications near, I figured this is a good time to review the basics of rotary fertilizer calibration and application practices.  Why?  So you can avoid having playing surfaces look like this:



So, how do you avoid mistakes during application?  Ensure the spreader is calibrated correctly and ensure the application has the correct overlap.

Purdue University Turfgrass has both topics covered.

First - Fertilizing Existing Turf by Zac Reicher and Clark Throssell

Second - Spacing Between Passes of a Rotary Spreader by Zac Reicher

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

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