Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Great Mixture to Keep Weeds and Unwanted Grass Out of Infields and Warning Tracks

With summer quickly approaching, many high school playing surfaces are winding down from spring play.  Crabgrass, goosegrass, and other unwanted growth will quickly appear.
 


How do you control this issue?  See below:

A simple mixture of Glyphosate in a 2% solution and SureGuard at 3 teaspoons per 1000 sq ft. So, in a 3 gallon spray hand can, 7.68 ounces of Glyphosate and 9 teaspoons of SureGuard. The tank will cover 3,000 sq ft. How well does it work? The photos below are from the warning track at Brebeuf High School. The track was sprayed in March.




Note the weeds along the track edge. This is due to the application. As many of you know, Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide, meaning it will kill anything it touches. So, be careful along all grass edges. Finally, to get better control, try not the work the infield/track up as this will break the Sureguard barrier.

To learn more about Glyphosate, click HERE.

To learn more about Sureguard, click HERE.

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer


Monday, May 15, 2017

Tall Fescue v Barenbrug HGT Bluegrass - A Tale of Two Fields

A site visit was made to two fields today.  First, a visit was made to a tall fescue football field.  Normal wear and tear caused divots/areas void of turf cover.  The grounds manager asked how much fertilizer would be needed to "fill it in."  This area will need to be overseeded due the the "bunch type" growth of tall fescue.  To learn more about why NOT to use tall fescue on athletic fields, click HERE.


The second visit was at a new Barenbrug HGT seeded football field.  Notice the areas that need to fill in.  This will completely fill over the next 30 days due to the Foliar Pak Grow-In product and the aggressive rhizome growth of the HGT bluegrass.  Stay tuned to the blog as we follow this field.  


Bottom line is bluegrass can be "pushed" to fill in laterally.  Tall fescue is a "one seed one plant".

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer


















Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Grass Baselines for Baseball?

With the wet spring across the Midwest many have asked about grass baselines.  Let's take a closer look.

Does that really work?  I get that question all of the time.  So, I stopped by Dunker Field today to take a few photos.  J&D Turf applies fertilizer and chemicals to the field during the year.  We also laser grade the infield each fall.  Enough with the background info, lets get to the photos.  Keep in mind, this was after over 100 games and practices..........

First base and third base:



As you can see, the baselines are in great shape.  A couple things to remember with grass baselines:

1.  There will be maintenance to the lines.  Constant overseeding with ryegrass and allowing the runners to "cleat it in" is necessary weekly when there is play
2.  Don't be afraid to sod the area off of 3rd base.  As you can see from this photo, the area where the players lead off will be worn.  Just install a row or two of new sod each fall.  Sure beats trying to dry wet baselines!
3.  Finally, grass baselines work best when building a new field or when renovating and laser grading an existing field.  Click HERE to see a renovation that took place last summer at Martinsville High School.

So yes, grass baselines will perform well with the correct installation and maintenance plan.

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Tall Fescue for Athletic Fields?







The photos above are from a baseball infield that was sodded with tall fescue a couple of years ago.  The complaint is the turf is too bumpy and our guys are scared to field a ground ball.  Why is this?  Click HERE to see a link from Purdue that explains why Turf Type Tall Fescue is not typically a good choice for athletic fields in Indiana.

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Always Tarp the Mound and Plate Areas

Using tarps for mounds and plates are a critical maintenance practice.  Tarps will perform two main tasks.

1. Keep moisture off the mound and plate areas - Mound and plate areas consist of special soil that contains significantly more clay, thus keeping moisture off the areas are critical for performance. 



2. Keep moisture in the mound and plate areas - As important as keeping moisture off of mound and plate areas is keeping moisture in mound and plate areas.  Proper moisture management is key to mound and plate clay performing properly.  Keep tarps on mound and plate areas at all times when not in use.

#SmartTurf Tip - Use surveyor nails to keep tarps on the ground.


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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Replacing a Homeplate Without a Surveyor


The homeplate of a baseball/softball field is the point where all other points are based.  (foul poles, bases, pitching rubber, etc)  So, when the time comes to replace a plate, take special care to ensure that the new plate is square with the foul poles and the field alignment is not compromised. 

Let’s walk through a plate replacement.  
First, string lines are pulled from behind the old plate to the foul poles.  This is done before the old plate is removed:



Next, a laser is used to take elevations around homeplate.  I always like to have the homeplate slightly higher than the highest point in the turf.  This will ensure that water will not run back onto the plate during rain events:



A string line is also pulled from behind the apex of the plate, through the middle of the pitchers rubber and the middle of the anchor of 2nd base.  This is the third string to ensure proper alignment.  Keep in mind that when the elevation of the plate in changed, the pitching rubber elevation should be checked and adjusted if necessary:



Finally, carefully install mound clay around the plate making sure that the plate does not move:



To see how to renovate a plate on a budget, click HERE:

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Building a Set of Base Anchors - Do Not Use Coffee Cans

I was on the road last week renovating an infield when I came across this base anchor


SmartTurf Tip - Do NOT use coffee cans for base anchors.  The have a tendency to spin and are not the recommended method.

Below is the recommended method for constructing base anchors.

Building a set of base anchors is a task that can be completed by a grounds manager or coach.  Here is a step by step method for building a set of base anchors.

1.  Organize the parts and the tools.  Items needed:

  • Base anchors
  • Duct tape
  • Screws
  • Drill
  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw
  • Scrap lumber 2x4 
  • Shovel
  • Quikrete
  • Wheelbarrow


2. Cut the scrap lumber into 8-12 inch pieces, and build a simple square form.   Keep in mind that this is not cabinet grade carpentry.  




3.  Tape the bottom of the anchors while mixing the Quikrete.  Using a scrap piece of plywood as a base, place an anchor in each form.  




4.  After the Quikrete cures (no more than 4 hours) remove the forms.  Now, you have a new set of base anchors.



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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer